Saturday, October 23, 2010, 12:48 PM
Race for Safehaven
Intro to DnDtweetup game www.rpgmusings.com/actual-play-podcasts/
None of you know each other, none of you are sitting in a bar, and there is
no dark stranger in a corner. Over the last few weeks the region has been
subject to plague and you have all got to a standing of notability, you will
be recognised, and normal people will turn to you and say "we need help".
But there's nothing that you have seen that you feel you can do, and it's
coming to a point now that you go with the flow. Everyone is leaving. The
plague is the unfightable fight. Towns are just being left for dead.
Everyone seems to be heading for the coast, and whichever direction you are
coming from you are heading towards the coast.
There are throngs of people around you and they're all sobbing around you,
and they are looking to you for your help.
You're the ones, you're the heroes. What are you doing about it? Why aren't
you back there fighting? But no you're being dragged along with everybody
As you go you see that there is a mash of people, all trying their best to
get in little boats, big boats, ships. Anything that comes to the coast is
just being overwhelmed, and you find yourselves being funnelled and dragged.
It's almost unstoppable now.
All of you, are being dragged towards a large galley, a tall ship with masts
and everything. You all find yourself onboard. That cramped feeling, the
smell, and the sweat, the fear is open in their faces. Anyone around you
that coughs, they chuck them overboard, because they don't want the plague.
There is just fear everywhere, it has even caught on with you because there
is nothing that you can do about it.
The captain of the ship is a huge dragonborn and just by the way he acts and
talks, not at you but over everyone else.
"Get yourselves and go onboard," Looking at you he shouts "Go onboard we
need some labour"
He shouts at his crew who slip down the ropes, and they cast off the gang
plank even with people climbing it to get on board, and people fall with a
splash into the sea. They are all screaming and shouting, you hear a cough
and the noise and fear, and everyone is just crying and there is children
As you glance around you'll see faces of people you know from your own
towns. Oh there's a baker from your town with his daughter, and the
blacksmith from your town and his two sons, and the farmer's wife that works
in the inn at your town and she is crying. Where is her husband, I've not
seen him. Each one of you will recognise someone from some part of your
past, your area, your locale.
Above everything else there is a figure, not a cloaked and hooded, but
someone that seems to be secretive in the way they are standing.
Occasionally the captain will step over to them and say something and though
you cannot hear over the cacophony you can see that there is nodding.
The crew shout about the boat starting to leave the harbour, and everyone
semi sighs with relief as the ship starts to sail. Its sails fill with air
and it starts to pull away. You can still see people on the dock calling "No
don't leave me!"
They are jumping in the water and swimming, sometimes they scramble up the
ship on the nets over the side, and because it is getting so over loaded
people are having to knock them off and say "no that's it! No more!"
You've gone maybe a mile from the coast and the headlands are starting to
disappear, and so are the other ships that were about you. As you try to
settle, the people who recognise you come to you and you try to calm them.
"Calm yourselves, calm yourselves, things will get better."
Perhaps you are starting to feel a bit queasy. It's about an hour into the
voyage. Something odd. Everyone is feeling it now, even yourselves. Not
here, we're to great in stature to be taken down by seasickness. What's
The sky gives off a funny coloured greeny-bluish tinge in your eyes. You
don't necessarily say anything to anybody else. But, all of you,
individually, see this, the mass of the of the ship and the wood seems to
bend. You begin to think, have you got the plague? Have you caught what the
hell you were running from? Things around you seem to warp even more, and
there is something odd!
The last vision that you get is the captain up on a high deck and next to
him is a cloaked figure staring down at you. They seem to be getting bigger!
There is something about that, everything around you is getting larger and
so your vision is warping and enlarging. Imagine you are in a fish bowl and
you are trying to look out. But what is it? The vision is just unbelievable.
Even the people around you they seem to be pushing and shoving your vision
closely. It is awash until eventually it goes completely white, all you can
see now is light. And all you can think now, whatever it is, you've got the
plague! ANd then you've gone.
You are unsure how long it's been. You awake. You're lying waist deep (this
way) in dirty filthy water. It takes you moments for your eyes to readjust.
"What is going on?"
You can hear moaning and sobbing about you. There's people from the crowd,
even some of the crew. You're looking about. The sky above you is black then
it has straight lines of light. A gap maybe 15 feet across, then another
long beam of light. These little thin beams of light that come down into
this cavernous space.
You lift yourself up out of the water, you realise you're wet and this water
stinks. It's rancid! It's so odd, and as you move yourself you stand up and
it's probably a foot worth of water that's black and manky and it sticks
onto your clothes and it's really oily or pitchy.
You can tell below your feet, you've not stood on ground. It feels like
wood. Looking around you see the ground rises in a curve, if you travel a
few feet, maybe five, ten, fifteen feet and you'll be on a sloping surface
of wood that rises high, up to the blackened sky with lines through it.
Behind you there's a big solid wall that's maybe 10 feet high. That's wood!
Really hard wood. Another ten maybe twenty feet is another wall, also twenty
feet high. The distance (this way) goes out and you can see shimmery water
and you can see it slowly swishing where it goes off into the darkness.
You can see these streaks of light disappearing off into the distance. All
around now there is people lying, standing, staggering, and they are all
turning to you!
"Where are we?"
Children will come and pull on ya sleaves.
"What's going on?"
Begin interaction with players by asking for a Perception Check.
Monday, July 19, 2010, 11:06 AM
Bad, Dwarf poetry.
There was once a dwarf from the vale,
Who was partial to a drop of the Ale.
He started to sip, before you know it he'd slip.
In a stooper he'd flail,Holding on to the rail.
His eyes all red and a quiver.
There he would rest against a fair maidens breast.
The landlord did shout,
You better get out!
We'll not have that around here.
The Dwarf did sneer but picked up his gear.
Heading into the night,
He gave the locals a fright,
And children were turned from the fear.
His weapon you see was for all to see.
All for the want of some beer.
Pangold and Nicolai stomped back into the campsite clearing, there voices, passing between tall trees, had arrived a moment sooner than they. Where I was bent over a cooking pot which was hanging precariously from a well balanced broken tree branch over a well made and kept campfire.
Pan and Nic's conversation continued, even after Nicolai had slumped down next to the fire, removed a boot and proceeded to empty water from within. Only then did I turn, look at the water splashing onto the leaf littered floor did he raise his small dark eyes up towards Nic.
"so, no fish then" I questioned. Placing my small hands upon my ample hips. I looked from Nic to Pan and back again. Momentarily there chat stopped. They looked at each other and in exact unison they spoke in hurried explanation. I was baffled by the sound and yet still knew not the reason for the row.
Latter all was quiet, the natural protection of thistle, thicket and hedge created a living fortress and with the trees around that, the three travelers were near invisible from the outside.
A lite night breeze could just be seen moving the high branches of the trees that were silhouetted against the clear night sky.
Pan was restless and so slept little, he was the first to be ready as he heard something and it wasn't just my snoring. Pan knew the sound of most night life and it wasn't any he had heard before. He kicked Nicolai awake and shushed him by placing a finger over his own lips. Nic, without thinking reached for his weapon and stood.
Dew had started to form on the leaves leaving crystal like pearls glistening around them, which was a good sign that morning was close.
They both stood in silence. Nic had placed a gloved hand over my face to stop the noise but still intently listened.
Pan rested his hand upon his weapon and got ready to draw it, then within a moment he was off, bramble and bracken grabbing at his clothes and armour as he dashed out of Nicolai's vision and into the darkened forest beyond.
An owl screeched but this didn't interfere with the concentration that lay upon Nicolai and he continued to scan the dark greenery that surrounded the campsite.
Nicolai felt a tugging at his arm. Turning he faced me and he saw my fat monks face turning blue and my eyes rolling back to show the whites. Nic lifted his hand instantly in realisation of what had transpired.
I gasped for breath. Colour flowing back into my cheeks.
"don't move Dav"
Nicolai's voice was a whisper but had a stern sense of dread upon it. I rolled my head from one side to the other trying to discover where there was danger and said nothing, my stomach and chest still heaved up and down like the bellows of some small town blacksmith.
Nicolai stood, I could see, from this low vantage point on the ground that the Tiefling was straining to listen. I cupped my hands over my mouth to try and quieten the sound of my short but hasty breaths.
Nicolais feet moved slightly upon the dirt and leaves. He is preparing himself. I thought.
Then a sound, the slightest of sounds took Nicolais attention and he also was gone from the clearing. The branches and twigs fell back into place as if no one had passed through just seconds before.
I lay upon the damp ground fear and a prayer upon my lips.
Dawn must be breaking as bird song was beginning to make its climb to be the only sound in the forrest. As I lay a line of ants made a path across my huge bulk and down the other side. Their red bodies becoming more vibrant as daylight clambered in through the high leaves and branches and fell warm upon my face.
I was alone, I had never been alone like this before. The thought of the danger that I now found around me. I stayed still upon the floor like a child that hides beneath a blanket so the night terrors won't get him. The rumble of my stomach was the only thing that made sense at this time.
"what are you doing Dav?
Two voices that I thought I would never hear again now stood over me. In there upside down view I couldn't see the injuries they had sustained but I was so glad to see my two new friends. I stood and hugged them both.
"oh, did you get breakfast?"
Nic and Pan said nothing, looked deep into my eyes then at each other then back at me as I smiled mu chubby face smile.
Both together they leapt upon me.
Its Kerday, I find myself high in the bell tower of Bodden Abbey.
The wooden slats that let the light in and the bell sound out are now rotten and grub eaten.
I'm careful not to touch them as they would crumble like old dry bread. There is only one bell left in the tower all the others have been taken in the past. War and want have taken them for there metal. The one that remains hasn't made a chime in decades. Its clapper long gone.
I continue about my work collecting the eggs from the birds nests that have been constructed in here over the last year and then destroying the nests. Sending clouds of dust and feathers floating into the quill thin shafts of sunlight.
They fall silently to the chapel floor far below where Brother Grall is waiting to sweep them up.
If I stand close I can pear out, see the world beyond Bodden Abbey wall, beyond the rooftops, down to the river where the sun strikes like a million pieces of broken glass. Smoke is rising in the tree line, some far away farm burning wood perhaps.
The mountains in the distance look faded with age and clouds climb over there peaks wrapping them in a blanket of grey and whites.
A noise from behind me. I turn, but having looked towards the sun I can no longer see in the half gloom of the tower. I call to brother Grall to see if he had joined me on my egg quest.
No reply. I call again but in a half whisper as a little fear creeps in. The hairs upon my arms stand and I shiver. I take a deep breath and step towards the bell resting my hand upon its cold body, I lean forward calling quietly again. My voice gives the bell life and it hums a sweet note back to me. A scrapping sound makes me stand straight with a start and I push the bell in my haste.
It swings away from me in a slow upward arc as if some unforeseen hand was lifting it.
I looked up as I stepped back. Two points of light. Two green jewels if you will flashed back at me from the dark cradle of the bell some 10 feet or so above.
I could bear it no longer, I turned for the stairs that would take me down. Down into daylight and away from what or who was there in the tower with me. I reached for the hand rail that would lead me to safety. Then, a chilling sound as if bone was breaking echoed about the tower. I yelled, slipped on the broken eggs beneath my feet and fell.
I didn't feel any pain at that point but as Brother Grall sat me up straight upon the chapel floor, my head pounded and the blood ran fresh and red within my hair.
Someone else can clear the nests next year.
It was a cold white winter. All the Abbey chimneys billowed dark wood smoke into a clean sky, leaving marks like charcoal smudged on paper.
The gathered Monks and I had just finished morning prayers and were now off about our own duties.
I collected a warm broth from the kitchen that I had made the night before. Climbed the stone steps to my writing chamber, organised myself and settled to write.
The ink was frozen in its well and my quill was ridged from the cold.
I needed to complete the letter of referral for brother Bost as he leaves for Darsham Abbey today which was many days travel from here.
The Abbot requested I write it as my hand was steady as if guided by Nedenoe herself.
I looked at the half finished letter upon my desk, sighed and walked to my fire place. Stoked the fire, place a fresh piece of wood within the flame and watched the tiny sparks jump and dance like fire flies on a summer eve. I smiled reached for my frozen ink and rested it upon the ledge next to the fire to thaw.
Rubbing the warmth back into my hands and gently shaking the ink as it became a liquid again.
The sound of a Jackdaw startled me, as I turned with the poker still in my hand I knocked the ink well to the floor. The bird shouted from its perch on my snow covered window sill. I looked up at its dark silhouette then back down at the ink. It shone and glistened from the fire light and I recalled a time when the Abbey cat had killed a mouse and left a pool of the poor creatures blood upon the floor. The grey collared bird called again. Its yellow piercing eyes looks straight at me as if it knew me.
Was it a message from Nedenoe ?
A moment passed then I saw, held in its claws was a piece of paper. Familiar piece of paper. I look towards my desk.
The letter !
I dashed to the window dropping the poker and stepping through the spilled ink leaving black boot marks upon the stone floor.
I reached out but it was as if the bird was teasing me and at the last moment, it took to the sky and in no time at all was lost within the falling snow.
I slammed my hand down into the snow on the sill, cursed under my breath, then fetching more ink and a new sheet of paper prepared to start the letter again.
I reached for my broth and took a sip.
It was cold, bless Nedenoe.
"Turnips & Carrots"
Another night of no sleep.
Outside my window the sky had changed into a feast of orange and yellows as the sun crept from its hiding place beyond the world.
A bird perched on the stone ledge of my window, left a mess and flew off again. I watched it go out over the Abbey wall and over the town rooftops.
What was that?
A darting shadow caught my eye. Someone was scampering across the black slate rooftops of Bodden. Knees bent and one hand out stretched to steady himself.
I only assume it was a he as I couldn't imagine a her climbing up so high.
The new sun sparkled as it caught the morning dew that had taken to resting on the moss that turned some roof tiles green.
The figure came to a gap where unseen by me an alleyway cut between buildings. He didn't stop, a mighty leap and he seemed to fly, legs tucked close to his chest. Landing he rolled, stood and continued.
I drew closer to my window and leaned out to get a better view, my hand rested on something wet, I didn't look. The great rooftop adventure was over and within moments he was gone.
A few pigeons took to the sky, clapping there wings like a small audience who had see something extraordinary.
Weeks passed and that dark rooftop shadow had seemed a dream long forgotten, it had trickled from my memory like honey from an unkempt beehive.
Until one particular day.
It was my turn to meet the traders at the gate and collect the order of fresh vegetables for the Abbey.
A strong heady smell of turned earth and the sweet smell of fresh turnips, carrots and potatoes filled the street just outside the Abbey's iron banded gates.
As I drew closer the farmers rushed forward to greet me, all speaking at once and each one having to shout loader, trying to be heard.
I raised my hands as if to praise the Goddess for the bounty to come but it was just a silent instruction to the crowd to quiet themselves.
I moved from cart to cart ,basket to barrel, deciding on which produce to choose.
Across the dirt street a commotion was taking place. Shouting and yelling. The local town sheriff and a small band of militia had obviously chased some poor soul into The Willow Tree which is the only tavern in Bodden.
Pushing and shoving could be seen clearly through the open door and movement through the cheap diamond shaped leaden windows reminded me of rats running around in the half light of a shuttered lantern.
I tried to continue my duties, I picked a carrot placed it to my nose and made out that I was smelling it but in fact I was intrigued by what could be the reason for the upheaval at the Tavern.
Now the sheriff and his men had gotten everyone into the street and lined up against the crumbling white plaster walls.
I stepped to the right slightly still holding the carrot to my face.
I stood on something that took me by surprise and I dropped the carrot. I was as apologetic as I could and stooped to retrieve it.
Beneath the cart was a dark shape. It leaned towards me, my eyes widened. The lean unkempt face of a young man seemed familiar, placed a finger to his lips to beg my silence.
I jumped back with a start, tossing the carrot high over my head until it came to rest in the centre of a dry cart furrow only a matter of ten feet from the line of tavern patrons.
The sheriff turned, headed over towards the traders who had now fallen quite silent.
Running a grubby hand through grubby black hair and placing his left hand on the hilt of a long narrow sword at his side. His faded blue tunic had see many better days and was in desperate need of a clean. His black boots, also in need of some repair, did not help with his demeanor.
This man of the law with narrow eyes looked straight at me.
I took a step back as he drew closer, the farmers took a step back also, their step was much broader than mine.
He came close, stopped, walked slowly around me. I felt myself start to tremble as if a cold wind had got into my robes with me.
The street was now as quiet as a day of mourning and all eyes were upon the Sheriff. Without warning and as quick as a snake he lunged grabbing hold of the young man from beneath the cart and dragged him hard from the shadow. He called to his men, and like hyenas in a pack they gathered about him, they left dragging the young man kicking and screaming.
Was that my fault he had been found out. I stood watching the sheriff and his men go not even noticing that the traders and farmers had once again started to clamor for my attention.
"Fetch some Milk"
It was meant to be a great day to rejoice. Brother Bost was coming back and today was his arrival celebrations. Tables of great dark Oak had been laid and sweet smelling flowers of yellows and blues stood in clay pitchers as centre pieces. Monks were dashing every which way, the whole Abbey was a buzz with excitement.
Where was I, well I could see what was happening from my small window which looked down on to the courtyard of Bodden Abbey which was strewn with yesterdays straw. A few sheep had gotten out of their garden pen and now had brother Lease, chasing around in circles in a stoop and arms out stretched clapping. I could smell the baskets of fresh bread being carried over from the bake house. My stomach rumbled quietly to itself.
Noon came and went, the heat of the sun was strong through my window and made the page I was writing on glare up into my pale face. I rubbed my strained eyes, took a sip of wine and wondered why I had not been called to come to the feast.
Why was it so quiet. Looking from my window I could just see a crowd out over the Abbey wall in the street and below me at the gate was at least a dozen monks milling about trying to see over each other at something outside.
Intrigued, I finished my wine in one gulp.
I kicked through the straw in the courtyard with some getting caught in my toes which I hopped to try and retrieve.
Using my ample size I pushed through to the front.
Ahead a gaggle of towns folk and monks huddled around something or someone beneath them. The sound of hushed whispers was like water rushing over rocks in a stream.
I struggled and pushed my way to in through the people, saying sorry each time I stood on a foot or toe quietly to myself.
I wasn't prepared for what greeted me, the smell was strong and the sight was new to my eyes. I'd read and written of what devastation that can be brought upon a body but I wasn't expecting this.
Brother Bost was wide open I could see sausage like items within his wound. He wasn't screaming or was it that all sound around me had gone. I just stared, what seemed like ages and watched blood pool around his body and the Abbots and monks knees as they rushed to stem the flow.
My name came echoing in, quiet at first and then loader and loader. My senses returned to me like a crashing drum against my ears.
Don't just stand there Dav "fetch some milk"!
From that moment time moved faster than I'd ever noticed, a bundle of robes, belt and boots were thrust at me and I could feel them wet and sticky against my hands and face. I turned and ran, back to the Abbey, threw the robes upon the floor and retrieved milk from the kitchens.
By the time I was returning several monks were carrying Bost's body which was covered with a blood stained sheet in through the gates. I stood with the half spilled milk dripping from my wrist.
All was quiet again. A sheep ran past me and out the gate
One quiet night at Bodden Abbey.
As usual I'd been adding filigree to some script I had been transcribing. Time dragged on until the early hours, just before sunrise. I leaned back upon my stool, this wasn't enough, so I stood for a full stretch. Hmm food, it must have been at least and hour since I finished that cold ham and cheese and the wine jar was dry. I slipped my boots back on as the stone floors where cold down in the kitchens. The abbey was a quiet as a morning prayer and I felt at one with god and a smile crossed my face.
The ovens had gone cold hours ago but I coaxed an ember into like and lit a fire. So I'd decided to cook something quick. I wasn't a bad cook in fact I was a great cook. I set a pot of goose oil on the fire and set about preparing some chicken for frying. There was still some of the cherry pie that brother Amit had made with the cherries from our very own cherry orchard. It was just as good cold.My chicken took no time at all, I dropped it still sizzling onto a platter and headed back upstairs. I was going to finish that last page then to bed.Having just arrived back at my scribes desk, when I'd remembered, I'd left the wine in the cellar. I held on to my chicken and once again headed down through the kitchen and down into the dark cellar.
From below the kitchen I heard a crash above me, someone else is up for a snack I though. I continued to fumble for a jar of wine in the dark. Finding what I wanted I then placed the chicken piece in my mouth and headed up the cellar steps. Awfully bright up there, sun must be rising. No, it wasn't the sun.Heavens above, the kitchen was ablaze. Oil must have bubbled over into the fire and now all hell had broken loose. Fire was climbing fast over every wooden surface and item like it was a living thing and already it was climbing the stairs up into the Abbey like it had a purpose.
There was nothing I could do. I ran straight out the kitchen doors to the herb garden,down the path with the heat already reaching the back of my neck. Once in the street I stopped and looked up at what I had done.The devil himself had taken hold of my Abbey and he was giving it a fiery death hug.What else could I do but cry, dripping salty tears onto my fried chicken which I still held tight between my teeth.
"To be continued"
Enter the Cleric
by "Jerrad Willis"
It was just after sunset when Nikolai and Pangold entered Bodden. “Why did we travel here again, Nikolai?” “According to my contact, there is an abbey here that has some information on undead. It might have some information on Wights, and how we can find my ship and crew. Do you not trust my contact now?” Pangold was reticent to answer. The Pirate network doesn’t allow deceit; a vote of no-confidence for his contact would be like saying that Pangold didn’t trust Nikolai. “I’m just saying that the last time one of your contacts sent us somewhere we had to fight our way out of the Great Dam Forest and we didn’t find anything.” Nikolai was fuming. “Pangold, if you remember, it was your idea to travel into the village, and it was you who threw the first punch in the tavern. We didn’t find anything because you ruined our negotiations with the leader of those elves. Maybe you should recall things correctly before you start blaming me.” Pangold knew it would become personal; he just felt lucky it didn’t turn into a fist fight. Pangold had learned a lot from his companion in the year they’ve spent together. Nikolai wasn’t as big a fan of food and mead as he was, but Nikolai loved the chance to swing his fists and light a fire. He tried to put up a tough front, but there were times the Tiefling showed compassion, and Pangold could see the changes in his face when they entered a new settlement and the reactions toward him. “I’m sorry if I insulted you, Nikolai. It’s too late to go to the abbey; let’s get something to eat and search the library tomorrow.”
The Willow Tree was down the street from the abbey, and had incredible vegetable stew, and even though Pangold would’ve enjoyed it more with meat, the root vegetables were cooked perfectly: firm, but not crunchy. “Let’s go over our day tomorrow.” Nikolai hated planning, unless it was for battle, and he didn’t plan on setting a library on fire. He sat in the overstuffed chair and picked at the frays of his robe. “What’s there to plan? We’re going to walk in, ask a monk about the library, and...”
Nikolai’s thought was cut-off as screams filled the streets. Pangold grabbed his khopesh and was out the door right behind Nikolai, who had a familiar fire in his eyes. Pangold thought that he was a little too eager, but it wasn’t arcane fire that burned in his eyes; it was reflected from the abbey. The monastery was completely engulfed when the pair got out of The Willow Tree. The fire brigade was standing at the gates of the monastery. The abbey was lost; their job was making sure that the fire was contained to just the monastery. This was not enough for Nikolai or Pangold. Pangold threw Nikolai over the brick wall and leaped over after him. ”I’ll try to direct the fire off of the abbey, you look for survivors!” Nikolai began throwing fire above the blaze, creating an aerial backfire to choke out the flames. Pangold ran into the blaze, and began to search for bodies. The fire looked strongest by the kitchen, but Pangold was not prepared to learn that the dormitory was directly above the kitchen; the weak ceiling had already given way and many charred bodies lay on the ground. He searched for the library, but found the parchment and vellum was already ashen. ���You had better hurry up Joysword! I can’t weaken the fire anymore, and the structure is going to give!” Pangold tried to exit through the main atrium, but the door had been blocked by the crashing ceiling. The back door was also blocked. Pangold went into a rage; he would need it to escape. He knew there was only one way out now: the kitchen.
Dav stood at the side gate, still gripping chicken in his mouth. Through his tears, he saw movement in the kitchen: the archway had collapsed. There was something else, though; wiping his eyes with his sleeve, Dav saw a small mass writhing underneath the rubble...It could be one of his brothers trying to escape! Dav rushed to what used to be the doorway, and saw that it was much too large to be one of his brothers, but he needed to be helped regardless. Trying to lift the rubble was useless for Dav, the heaviest thing he lifted was The Mastodon: the largest tankard of Ale The Willow Tree had ever given one person. He begged Nedenoe for assistance in helping the man, in hopes that in the many lives lost at least one could be saved. Either moved by the intensity of the situation, or an answer from his god, Dav fired a pillar of light from his hand, moving the rubble away from the man. He then put his hands on the man’s body, praising Nedenoe for his strength. Dav’s hands glowed a greenish-white and he could see the wounds on the stranger healing, and the lifeless body regained consciousness. Before he could speak, a large red man with horns approached Dav. “We have to leave now! The rest of this building will fall!” The man meant business, and all Dav could do was follow the two hulking humanoids as they walked towards The Willow Tree.
The tavern was empty when they entered through the back door. Dav sat on the overstuffed chair, visibly shaken. “It’s...it’s all my fault. All those brothers, all that knowledge, lost...” “Regardless of fault, I’m glad you were able to escape. I owe my life to you, Cleric.” Dav was taken aback by the comment. “I’m no Cleric, friend. I am a simple monk trying to best understand the guiding light of Nedenoe.” Joysword chuckled, “Believe what you want, but only a Cleric could have brought me back from the brink.” Nikolai was grabbing cloaks from his bag. “This ontological discussion is great, but we should get out of town before the guard comes after us. It’s a little too convenient that only a few hours after we arrive a storied monastery is destroyed. Besides, with no library, we have no need for this town.” “I will travel with you, Paladin. I feel Nedenoe’s guidance pulling me towards you. There’s a reason you were the only two that came to the priory’s support, and why I was the only survivor. I am Dav Tuumal, apparently a Cleric of Nedenoe.” “Pangold Joysword, Barbaladin of Serryn. My associate is Nikolai, Tiefling Warlock and dread pirate. Dav, do you know of any libraries that would have knowledge of the Undead?” “I have not travelled outside of Bodden, but Nedenoe’s gifts of knowledge are strong in Kalport and Cabbageton.” “Then that’s where we move next. Heh, look, Nikolai; I have a contact now!” Nikolai pulled the hood of his cloak over his head. “Hilarious, now let’s get out of here.”
The next morning the sun rose just as it always had, as if the celestial beacon had no care of the devastation of the night before. Perhaps it was guiding the people to not dwell on the pain, to move on to the next day. Sherriff Lars Shieldbringer sifts through the ashes of the abbey. The bricks were still hot. The Duchy Grand Marshall would be there by noon, and he needed numbers to keep his job. “Lieutenant, do we have a body count?” The lieutenant scratched his head and looked at his parchment. “There’re a lot of scattered bones from the building’s collapse. All of them are probably here, but from what I can guess we might be missing two.” “That doesn’t make sense, idiot, there’s no monks here. They’d be helping or at least in town. Mark down that all the monks were lost, and bury the rubble and the bodies here. We’ll make this a mausoleum and dedication to them. Maybe the Grand Marshall will be impressed enough to promote me.”
Monday, April 12, 2010, 5:10 AM
The storm clouds are drifting far into the distance and a low rumble is all that can be heard. Sir Fellxer and Jessvanik step from the shelter they sort under this small rocky out crop. The wooden jetty that lay before them is now broken and storm damaged but luckily the boat that they seek still bobbed gently upon the resting waves of the harbor. The captain of this vessel stepped into view. Yay buth still want that ride down coast. Then show me yay gold an we can leave.
Without a word between then the two travelers proffer their gold to the pilot.
The two took to boat travel well, and as the weather was warming as they moved down the coast, they both took the opportunity to hang their clothes to dry from the sides of the craft.
The pilot and his small crew worked well and fast about their ship and a good speed was achieved.
Large fish seem to be racing the ship as they traveled. Birds flew with barley an effort in the now cloudless blue sky.
The two indulged in several dice games with a couple of crew member and gold exchanged hands.
The days drifted by in a relaxed daydream. The coast passed, animals and native peoples were seen from time to time and small coastal towns but none of any interest to the human and Dwarf companions.
8 days aboard the STARCHASER, where beginning to take its toll, and everyone was ready to make land.
The night of the 10th day and the lights of their destination now lay ahead of them. The Citadel high on the mountains rocky surface was the first sight to witness as it lay its huge silhouette against the darkening sky. Sir Feelxer and Jessvanik looked at each other. Their real journey will start when they make it to the highest point of the citadel and speak with the grand Duke. They had information that was for his ears only.
They jumped from the Starchaser before it had finished birthing and headed straight towards the city gates.
The city gates are closed and sealed in front of the two. Sir Fellxer, using the hilt of his weapon slammed hard against the wood and iron gates. The thrumb echoed deep and far sending bats and night birds scattering high into the night. Then silence once again.
They stood looking around and up toward the gate apex. A helmed head dipped into view. "who calls so late at the gates of DANTUS".
His voice was clean and crisp as all educated men demonstrate, a glint of metal was flashed momentarily in an unseen torch lite from beyond the high wall.
We are keepers of the knowledge and we demand entrance to Dantus and the citadel at once.
Sir Fellxer's voice was strong and commanding and lay heavy in the still air. A smile crossed Jessvaniks lips as they both looked up and waited for an answer.
"the gate remain closed until daybreak return then and no sooner".
The answer was not what the travelers had been looking for.
The human lay his hand upon his weapon and looked at the dwarf.
"should we make our own door Jess". The dwarf placed a hand on the humans shoulder. "let's not be to hasty my friend, we look for allies not enemies. Plus we don't want the city to know what power you carry" the dwarf spoke soft to hi friend. " we shall wait, it is only a few hours more" set camp over there I think".
They moved away from the gate by a few yards and with a gesture of his hands a campfire and bedrolls seem to appear from the very ground around them. The human looked at the inviting fire and it reflected in his dark eyes. He looked back at the gate with the though of a warm soft bed placed to the back of his mind until another day. He sat close to the fire and settled.
The fighter had a restless sleep against the hard ground with fitful dreams of a dread that lay beneath him. Late into the night, when the two slept an unsettling mental horror swept over sir Fellxer. Flooding his dreams with the wars of the past. There he saw the Sword in death and the Shield in life. In an epic battle. legions of men fell dead to the swords might and with the shield in the evil lords hands he could not die. The only way to stop it was for one to willingly give there life to two the shield, and at the same time force an unwilling one to die by the torture of the sword. With a scream he woke. He knew it was up to them to protect the sword and shield.
Turning in his sleep woke himself several times and by the glow of the dyeing embers of their camp fire he could see the dwarf still deep in meditation.
They woke just as the first rays of morning sun struck the gleaming metal atop the tall gate to the city of Dantus.
Brushing the nights dust from their hair, the two, once again were ready to enter the city.
Already a large gathering of traders and travelers stood awaiting the opening of the gates and altogether they were watching the shadow of the sun creep ever farther down the gate until it reached a small port hole of some sort. No sooner, the gates heavy bolts and bars could be heard being moved out of place.
The gates swung open releasing the flow of people into the city.
The city was vast, unable to take in all its majesty at once. The pair headed with determination towards the Citadel.
Passing shops of all kinds, selling foods and animals, tools and weapons. Even luxuries like golds and jewels. The smell at times, was over powering but they kept to their chosen path and just over an hour it took to reach the drawbridge to the palace citadel.
The bridge was down and many armour clad warriors stood in line, rigid and straight, eyes searching ahead. One stepped forward as the two travelers drew close. Before the watch had time to speak the line, the line that he must speak to every newcomer, the wizard spoke.
"We are the keepers of the knowledge and you must see us through to the duke!" his voice had a soft yet demanding tone to it and the watch stood silent momentarily.
Sir Fellxer took a half step forward with hand once again place upon his weapon that hung from his belt. "calm yourself My human friend" said the wizard placing a gentle hand upon the humans chest.
The watch was unsure of the two who stood before him but then continued.
"what business with the Duke do you have?"
"The business is ours" blasted Sir Fellxer, "now let us pass".
The watch drew about two inches of his sword from its hilt, preparing himself for a fight that to be sure he did not want.
The Wizard continued. "We have traveled many leagues to bring this news to the Duke and if it is not delivered soon this empire will fall to the evils that grow in this land. Now let us pass"
Waving his hand in front of the watch as if in slow motion, the guard placed his sword home in its scabbard and stepped back.
"follow me" came the mans voice with unusual calm.
"Your fighting prowess will be needed very soon my friend whispered the wizard" Don't be to eager to draw blood".
The tow followed the watch through gates and doors and corridors, up stairs and along balconies until they came to a stand in front of a pair of the grandest doors this side of the horizon.
Bregonia wasn't to suited to life aboard a boat, but she had a job to do and the STARCHASER turned out to be perfect. Due to her size she had managed to get a ride, and a paid one at that, in the guise as a cabin boy. She didn't mind being ordered about as long as it suited her purposes and just yesterday after the great storm that hit the coast the Starchaser picked up two passengers. Not just any two passengers but, the Keepers of the Knowledge.
Her masters had told her to find the Keepers and follow. Find where they took the knowledge, to who and what was the knowledge.
This job was way to easy. She was told to find them at the Shadowed coast she didn't expect them to get on the very same vessel she had taken to get there. Bregonia couldn't believe her fortune. Her god was good to bring the Keepers to her.
The journey was slow, the days were warm and as Bregonia went about her chores she kept an eye on the two. They spoke to each other but no one else they ate alone and from time to time the human was seen fishing off the Stern. Nothing gave away their purpose. Her guild masters would be more than pleased that she had found them so quickly and so the knowledge would be hers too soon.
The Starchaser was an unusual boat. Bregonia had seen many bit none like this. It had no ores for navigating narrow channels and only one Mast, this has two sails that could be lowered like two unfolding petals of a flower. The wheel was placed high and set in a small brass box just in front of the wheel was a blue crystal, not a compass as any other ship would use. It had a crew of six and in charge was Captain Sudbury. Dark skinned but with strong brown eyes. A good man who treated his crew well. There was something odd about this ship but that wasn't Bregonia's priority.
Ten days passed before the Starchaser put into port at the city of Dandus. The two travelers parted and Bregonia slipped from the boat unseen just before it left. "They won't miss me" though Bregonia as she disappeared into the fading light of the evening.
She watched the two question the gate keeper and then settle in a camp near by.
Morning brought crowds to the gate of Dandus, this would be ideal to slip into the city along with all the other traders.
Sunday, April 11, 2010, 2:38 AM
Elmswell, is a small town that has come to being, around the ruins of an old Abbey and well. The Abbey had long been abandoned by the monks and left to crumble,elm trees grow all over and around town.
Now a castle has been built in close proximity,just a few miles away. Elmswell has begun to flourish. It has stables, blacksmith, inn, markets and friendly townsfolk.
The town has its own wooden fortifications to keep unwanted intrusion by wild and dangerous beasts. And from time to time a brigand band or two who would rather try their hand at a small town than a large castle. The local towns folk man the defenses when needed but most of the time they just rely on Simon Graythorn the self appointed Sheriff.
A large open area in what is left of the Abbey is used for a market. Farmers and traders gather there wares here twice a week. Food, clothes and many other goods and produce can be bought or bartered here for much less then anywhere in the region. Servants from the castle can be seen in town nearly every market day.
There is a well kept road in to and out of the town itself, locals, once a year go out and lay new stones and cutback any overgrowth that could make visibility difficult for seeing approaching travelers.
The witch that lives in an old rundown and leaky house a few mile out of town in a deep thicket of trees. She isn't really a witch but the towns children make up stories about her as she keeps herself hidden away for weeks on end. Occasionally coming into town on market day, then everyone whispers about what she is and who she really is. She trades baskets that she has made for goods and some ale then once again heads back to the woods alone.
Her house has one room with a split level for her bed. Cooking, eating and sitting is all done in the same room around a large old oak table in the centre of the house. This table has never been moved as it is way to heavy for Mya.
In truth beneath the table is the exit from the abbey tunnels. This used to be the place of retreat for the monks when the Abbey was threatened.
She is a self proclaimed Mayor, no one really minds as no one really takes any notice of what she says anyway, unless its a good idea then they will do it and Cynda will be pleased. She is bossy and rude sticking her nose into anyone and everyone's affairs.
A male dwarf.
With lots of unkempt hear on his head and face, grey now races through all of it. He has settled into the life of beer maker and as he is the only brewer in town he quite likes it. His beer is tasty and is mainly sold at the castle view Inn but he will trade some at the market especially any that goes to the castle.
He has built a three story house that holds his brewing vat that reaches from almost the top floor down to the ground and he lives alone around it.
Raul the Monk
He is a portly human with the bald head and rope belt around his brown and beige robes. He speaks as though he has something in his mouth all the time.
The Abbey ruins are just that, ruins. There are parts of the walls left and one large end window but no glass has survived. There is now well trimmed grass all around and a few bare ground patches where the market stands twice a week. There is still the entrance to the cellar which has an iron gate on it. The local beer maker is allowed to store his beer while it matures. The cellar is just one long room with no light. At the far end behind some very old shelves that store un usable packing boxes with nothing in then is a walled up passage that leads through a series of tunnels to the near by woods. This was used by the monks for if danger befell them. One man knows of its existence.
Raul the Monk. He is a gentle man always wearing his robes and can mainly be seen at night tending the Abbey garden. Having been dead for over a hundred year doesn't seem to bother him and if you call he will appear.
Castle View inn.
Fiery red hair with an irish feel in her voice the thirty something young woman runs the Castle View inn alone. Serving a local brewed ale and home made bread, everyone gets a warm welcome on entering this small building. She employs several local lads to do all the running, fetching and carrying and her rooms are never empty long. Local men frequent more often as they try to woo her one way or another. Everyone wants to please Magdalen but she seems to have a soft spot for Simon Graythorn the town sheriff.
Stocky and heavy set like any Dwarf you would meet. Bald but with a heavy dark beard. Several parts that have been burnt away by hot sparks from his forge.
Warren has seen much of his many years adventuring this land but has now decided to settle down with a trade, wife and kids.
Low shelves with ore and folded metals are on two wooden walls. A furnace and water butt are against the third. The entrance is a wide open front with an area to tie horses and carts for shoeing and fixing.
One very untypical elf feature is that Cloud has very short hair, still in a striking gold. Tall and slim build hides a curious strength that will shock anyone. She wears trousers for comfort and practicality but if you suggest that she is no lady then she will beat you with anything that comes to hand.
Set around a large tree is a round roof with the tree as the centre support, enough space to stable 12 animals and their tack. Vines and plants grow all around the wooden structure giving it a very natural feel. Cloud says it keeps the animals happy.
Old is to say the least, built with broad shoulders and large hands, simon has many years under his belt as watchman, guard, mercenary, adventurer, bodyguard and so on. Don't be fooled by his age, he has an uncanny skill with any weapon but mainly carries a Longsword at his side. Its told in rumour that if you see that sword drawn in anger towards you you will never see it drawn again. Simon has a vast knowledge of the world close and far and often he can be found in Castle view inn with a pint and a story to tell.
Simon lives in the two story wooden watch tower at the edge of town. The interior is simple and functional with a bed a warm fire in winter and airy in the summer. On the wall hang all kinds of what Simon calls trophies if you ask about one don't expect to leave early or even sober.
From the top he can see the whole of the town and the road leading in. The castle to the north can clearly be seen from any part of the tower and the town for that matter.
As you arrive at the gate to Elmswell there is a wooden 3 story gate tower to your left. Passing through the wooden gate, straight ahead can be seen the town well a stone structure covered in moss and above that on the small town hill is the ruins of an Abbey.
As you stand near the well and turn to your right there is the Castle view inn. A cottage kind of structure with wooden beams and vines all over it. Seating is provided outside for the summer months. Directly and a little back to the right of the inn is a very large oak tree, built around the tree is stabling for about 12 horses. The blacksmith yard can be seen just beyond the tree to the left. Smoke can be seen rising from the furnace chimney and the clang of hammer on anvil.
The fins of the windmill can be see over the blacksmith, slowly turning in the summer breeze.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010, 10:30 AM
Who In their right mind would Not want this breathing down their players, characters necks...
Lovely...bring It on
Friday, January 1, 2010, 12:09 PM
A 4E game run by Dmitri
The Black Coach.
Finding safety in numbers. Three to be exact.
Kava, a sharp toughed Dragonborn. Who if he could find something bad to say about you, he would.
Vaunëa, the biggest Goliath this side of the mountains so whatever you do don't get her in a rage.
Darrak, a little shy of 5' but he can mean business when he brings his staff to bear.
They find there companionship taking then down the Bogenhafen Road towards Riverwich. A long twisting road through the forest which links the two major cities together. Dotted on the road are small villages and inns. A bridge across the river Wich was said to be a wonder of the world. So, why wouldn't you want to see it. Tonight however, isn't a night that most want to be out.
During this night it is said that 'The Winds of Magic' grow strong and mutations appear. This rise of magic apparently enables many daemons to travel into the world. Evil sorcerers cast their spells while Necromancers and Vampires raise their undead legions. The Chaos cults gather to praise and worship their dark gods while the terrified law-abiding people hide themselves in their homes praying for the arrival of dawn.
Whether this is true is unknown, but you have heard stories, especially when you were a youth to be told to eat your greens.
Morr and Mannan, the lesser and greater moons, are already visible. Morr is giving off an unusual faint greenish glow. It isn't a good sign. . .
What's that noise?
Vanuëa and Kava both heard something. Something coming quickly from the direction they had already traveled. Darrak heard nothing but when seeing the other two step from the road into the extremely close treeline, enquire as to what was wrong. Nothing! Was the reply so Darrak continued at his steady no kind of hurry sort of pace. The Dwarf turned, an noise, most unmistakable now. The sound of horses hooves and the clatter and rumble of a coach behind. Darrak moved to one side ready to allow the fast moving contraption passage as at the speed it was going and the failing light it would not see anyone in time to stop.
Kava throwing the end of a rope to Vaunëa and suggesting to trip the horses. He said it would be kind of funny but the rest saw disaster looming.
The coach was almost on top of the as still moving as fast as it could go. Kava decided not to do that with the rope but, instead leap onto the swift moving coach as it passed.
The horses the coach man and the coach itself was dark and even in the eerie glow of the evening light no Discerning features could be seen.
Kava leaped. Missing the coach entirely and landing in the dirt of the road. The other two thought nothing of It and continued on down the road. The thought of the coach and the night and what may be going on this very eve kind of creeped them out slightly( not Kava) and it was decided to move forward a little quicker to find lodgings for the night. Their step was quickened.
Kava took to explaining why the too moons where both full and in the sky at the same time. Which Vaunëa and Darrak took little noticed of. Continuing on their way with Kava muttering to himself.
A small Hamlet lay ahead after over an hours travel from when they saw the Black coach.
A sign, hanging above a door of the larger of the three buildings swayed gently in the night breeze but as the shutters where closed and no lights to be seen the sign couldn't be read.
The Dwarf tried the door. It was locked and so banged upon it with his fist. Nothing. Vaunëa banged on the door also.
"Go Away Demons" came an upset voice from within.
Light could just be seen between the closed shutters of the window and movement. Kava shouted there wasn't any demons and Vaunëa kicked the door in, shattering the wooden lock to splinters.
The room was large with a fire place to one side but on such a chill night the fire wasn't lite. To the right a small bar area and a jovial man in a white apron stood nearby. Close by the main table sat an elderly woman crying. Three other figures stood in a dark corner on the opposite side to the door. One held a dagger but as he was trembling it was not steady in his hands.
Darrak demands food and beds for the night but was informed abruptly by the bar keep that they had no beds. Then mead was called for and this was provided.
Kava strode over to the old woman crying and asked the reason why the tears. She explained that her son had gone out earlier to collected fire wood to stoke the fire and keep it burning for the night and as you can see the fire is out and my son Gunta, has not returned. Immediately Kava volunteered himself and his two companions that they would venture out to seek her son. The woman was taken aback by this also Darrak protested reminding Kava what night it was and that we should wait until morning. It was decided by Kava that we would go now. The old woman was filled with joy and handed Kava an Amulet depicting the sun god Behamot.
The trio gather their stuff up and venture out into the night. Vaunëa appologises for breaking the door as she leaves, propping it up in the doorway.
The evening had become chill with an eeri mist low against the ground that spun and tumbles from he passage of the heroes. Following no path, they head into he trees the direction the old lady had said her son had gone. Moving branches from there faces and crunching bracken underfoot they made quiet a noisy troupe but continued. A good hour in, but as it was difficult going they maybe covered less than three miles when the three felt like they were being watched.
A shape moved ahead within the dark shadows of the trees. Darrak saw nothing and asked why they had stopped. Vaunëa pointed the dark shape out to the dwarf. The figure stops. Then moments later a ear splitting scream rings out breaking the modest silence of the woods. It moved forward seeming unhindered by the trees around it and moments later it was upon the Dragonborn reaching an arm and boney hand out touching his face whereas maggots and worms appeared and crawling about his face. Kava froze momentarily.
Vaunëa the goliath without thought reacted striking the creature and striking it hard with her huge broadsword. The creature hisses and strikes at kava but still reeling from Vaunëa's blow, misses.
Darrak intervenes, bringing his heavy staff down on the monsters out stretched arm forcing it away from Kava. It then backhands Vaunëa and she falls tripping on a log behind her.
The monster screams words that are only half understood.
"We...Should....Dance, eat .....and...Rub"
Kava wasn't going to stand for that kind of talk. Stepping back he drew his Holy Symbol, held it towards the beast and chanted a quick holy phrase. The beastly creature vanished and all was left was like soot falling from where it had once stood.
Now the three stood in silence and clearly chanting could be heard ahead. They quickened their pace until, through a gap in the tight trees a light. No...several lights could now be seen.
Vaunëa and Kava move forward to gain a better view. Darrak moves to the right trying to gain a better angle on what was happening.
A clearing in the trees, the heroes hid just on the edge of the shadows and watched in curious bewilderment.
Ahead of them stood about 9' tall rugged standing stones in an approximate circle with green moss and lichen growing over them. Around the stone were some strange and glowing mushrooms of a size not commonly found and surely not edible.
Within the stone this circle danced six human figures, they were robed and in their left hands they chimed tinny symbols and in their right they held small whips. During the dancing and chanting they would Whip the Druid in front.
Watching with disbelief on their faces the three stayed as still as possible. Five or so minutes later and over the opposite side of the clearing the Black Coach draws up. Horses whiny and chomp at the bit dragging their hooves in the dirt as if they are poised to depart. The coach door swings open. Darkness lays within then stepping with grace from the coach a Purple robed figure heads steadily towards the flat stone that lay in the centre of the circle. The figure was carrying a bundle between his held out arms, is was small say no bigger than a child.
As the purple robed figure arrived in the centre of the Druids he lay whatever it was down upon the slab, unraveling it.
The heroes gasped in horror. It was a child a baby to be exact no more than a couple of months old. Now it lay crying. The man in purple drew an ornate dagger from within his robes. Raised it above his head, raising his voice as he did so.
Vaunëa's eyes flash, without thought to herself she runs head long at the nearest cultist, killing him with her first mighty blow from her Broadsword, turning to face the next.
Darrak steps from the trees and musters a spell. Three spears of ice form in front of the Dwarf and thrusting his arms in a forward motion the ice spears fly, slicing the air and leaves a frosty trail that lingers momentarily before striking three separate foes. The first spear travels completely through the first cultist sending him tumbling hard to the floor the second manages to see it coming and just avoids it, but the third icy javelin of death finds the Purple robed man and buries itself deep into his side then it shatters into a million icy stars.
Kava gestures as if to cast a spell of some sort and then suddenly from above small rocks drop from the sky causing no harm what so ever.
The fight continues.
The Goliath swings hard and fast taking another cultist before they have time to act. The Dwarf takes down a running cultist with his staff. Then the Dragonborn blasts a jet of fire with such ferocity that the Guy in purple is engulfed in flame and also the coach which stands a good twenty feet behind bursts into fire and the horses break loose and scatter.
Vaunëa once again with rage upon her she destroys yet another cultist no giving them a moment to even consider fleeing for their lives.
The baby rolls upon the huge cold slab of stone still crying. The Dwarf sees a chance to save it and rushes forward only to discover that the baby was placed beyond his small reach and so he was left jumping for all his worth to get to the crying baby.
The man in purple was all that was left of the cultists, he fell to his knees as Vaunëa and Kava came upon him he turned and tried to run and he was cut down as he tried to slide passed.
The baby was rescued by the Goliath. Behind her huge tough exterior lay a truly gentle heart.
The cultist bodies where searched and then thrown on to the remains of the burning Black Coach. Amongst the bodies was found Gunta, who had been a willing participant, unbeknown to the heroes he was slain in the fight. There was still his mothers amulet around his neck. Kava took that.
Light had gone completely from the forrest as the torches were burning out, leaving the four almost in darkness save for the eerie light of the moons playing tricks upon the mist covered floor.
They headed back to the inn.
On arrival Kava broke the news that Gunta had been slain by the cultists, although he had put up a valiant fight trying to rescue the infant that was to be sacrificed.
The old lady was thankful of their story and that her son had died trying.
The child crying still was offered to the old lady for her to take care of it until its parents were found and this she did eagerly.
Kava said he would go and fetch wood and get the fire going to take the chill from their bones.
Everyone was grateful.
Written By S Matthews
Sunday, December 13, 2009, 1:49 PM
A Game run By S Belcher
Deep in the woods is a secluded, secretive Elven city. They don’t let strangers in except for very rare circumstances. Feanan is an Elven magic student there, studying wizardry. He has lived there all his life. He and the gnome druid Neni have known each other since Neni was born, so she has been granted access to the city. Neni was visiting Feanan in the city when he was approached by his master. The master sent him to spend time in the human world as the next step of his training.
He was instructed to begin by traveling 4 days to the town of Sandpoint, where he would attend the Swallowtail Festival, which celebrates the first day of autumn. Neni decided to go with him. Sandpoint was rumored to have collected a huge display of rare plant life, trying to attract more Druid visitors.
The travel was uneventful. They arrived early on the morning of the festival while the shops and stalls were beginning to set up. They browsed the shops while they waited for the festival’s commencement. Neni got a great deal on a cloak she bought from a young Halfling. They both got a deal on some randomly chosen potions being sold by an orphaned half-elf trying to get rid of the crates of potions her parents had made.
Neni then spied a gambling table. She immediately jumped to play. Feanan gambled a bit as well.
They met the mayor, Kendra, who expressed how excited she was to have Druids in town. They also met the priest. Neni asked for a leaf from the rare Japanese Maple, but was turned down. Then they both went to a tavern for a drink.
The barkeeper was a Dwarf who had a human slave named Amiko. Neni was feeling mischievous so she drank an invisibility potion and started playing tricks on the Dwarf. She climbed over the counter and started making objects appear to float, poking the Dwarf, tugging his beard, and generally being a nuisance. The Dwarf saw Feanan and assumed it was the wizard playing tricks. He demanded the elf stop, and then stormed out of the tavern when the tricks continued. Amiko smiled and mouthed “thank you” at Feanan.
A few hours later, the potion had long since worn off and the festival began. The mayor stood on the stage to being the commencement. She announced that three people would be randomly chosen to receive branches from the Japanese Maple at the end of the festival. Neni was overcome with excitement and began shooting magical flares and shouting “Ooh ooh! Me! Me!” The mayor laughed and said she was happy to see so much enthusiasm.
The mayor then asked for the three Druids present to come to the stage for a special gift. Neni squealed with joy and ran to the stage. The mayor thanked them and said she hoped more druids would come in time to see the collection. She then handed each of them a vial of sap from the Maple. When Neni got back to Feanan, she climbed on her bear Chocolate’s back to see the rest.
The sheriff gave a long speech about safety and rules, which nearly put the whole crowd to sleep. Next the priest began his speech. In mid-sentence, he cut off and stared in horror behind the crowd. Feanan turned to look and gasped, “Guys…look…” At that moment, Neni saw a dagger whiz past her ear and plunge into the back of the man in front of her. She gave a shriek and spun around, her eyes widening in surprise.
Behind the crowd were 5 Goblins. They were ravaging the town, stealing, breaking, eating, killing, and burning. Feanan rushed to one to attack it. Neni threw darts and slung rocks from her sling. Chocolate ran to maul them. People began screaming and rushing around looking for shelter and weapons. In the confusion, only Feanan and Neni seemed to keep their heads. Two of the Goblins slipped into the crowd. Neni flew after one while Chocolate and Feanan took down the others.
Feanan was having little luck using his weapons. He gave up and blinded one with acid, then kicked it and two others to death. Chocolate killed on, then lay gnawing on an arm until Neni called for him. Neni tracked the last goblin to a woodpile. It jumped out and lunged at her. She dodged and attacked him back. He tried to run. She summoned an eagle, but it was unsuccessful at hurting the goblin. Then Chocolate appeared and killed it.
They took a moment to breathe as Kendra found them. She began thanking them when they all heard more commotion. Feanan and Neni ran to finish off the threat. They found more goblins. Chocolate was injured. Feanan kicked more to death. Neni fed Chocolate some enchanted healing berries. They continued on and killed more. A gravely injured woman thanked them with the last of her strength. Neni gave the woman as many of the berries as were safe for a person to eat, leaving herself only a few. As she stood, two more goblins approached, followed by a big ugly one riding a rat.
Feanan ran to attack and was hit hard. He fell to the ground, unconscious. Neni cast a stabilizing spell on him and attacked a goblin, killing it. As Feanan regained consciousness, Neni was hit and fell. Chocolate was enraged and ripped the offender in half. Feanan attacked the big one, punching it in the face hard enough to drop it. Neni woke up. Chocolate ate the big one’s head.
Neni ate her remaining berries and they both drank potions. The town was incredibly grateful and offered them anything they wanted as reward. They simply asked for the celebration to resume. Once the fires were put out, that’s just what happened. They partied late into the night, and then retired to the rooms they were offered for free for the night. In the morning, they learned that the slave Amiko was missing. Nobody had seen her since before the fighting started.
Written By .M Belcher
Kraadish the gentle giant of a half orc had arrived back after an event filled journey down river, he was looking forward to a hugh Flaggon of Ale..there is a guy looking for a body guard and Kraadish was asked if he was interested. He had only just got back but money is money so he took the job. He was to escort an man called Titus to a town Kraadish hadn't heard of before but was told it wasn't far, no more than a day over the rocky hills.
After hours of hard climbing they came to a wide ledge with crashing waves on one side and jagged rocks on the other, mist lay everywhere making it difficult to see what lay about, from out of hiding came five vicious looking wild dogs snarling and growling at the two travelers. Kaadish drew his Scimitar and leveled his shield.
The dogs came at them and so the Halforc did his job and guarded Titus. Pushing one dog of the ledge and fighting the others and taking wounds kraadish fought hard, even breaking his weapon during the fight . Just after the fight a few lights, what looked like fire works could be seen in the sky not far to the north.
Arriving, bleeding badly at the huge wooden gates to the mist hidden town, they banged on the gate, discovering that they were open and so pushing hard against the wood the great gates moved and opened. In front of them lay a town in ruin, buildings on fire and bodies of people and goblins everywhere.
Two goblins stood in wait and came at the two as they walked in through the gap in the gate. They were soon dispatched.
Some well todo people came over to Titus and started to talk with him, one of the new men offers to heal Kraadish's wounds.
kraadish noticed a small character who seemed to have a bear( which happened to be called Chocolate ) with her. Kraadish wasn't pleased with this and panicked and so drew his sword again. The small person then threatened Kraadish that if he hurt her pet she would kill him, a slim guy with a pointy hat who had walked up also said the same thing about a cat that was following him.
Kraadish thought on this and as they may be there pets put his sword away.
The Gnome looked puzzled for a moment then asked the others if they had heard something, they said no. Asking if they were sure she told them she could hear noises under her feet, under the ground below her. Again the two said no and looked at her as if she must be hearing things.
Heading over to the beer tent which Kraadish was the first to agree to. They all sat and ordered. A Dwarf who served them looked upset, so upset in fact that the halforc got wine instead of beer twice. Needless to say he drank it anyway.
Apparently the Dwarf was upset because his slave girl had gone missing in the battle with the Goblins. The Gnome who was called NENI and FEANAN the wizardy looking guy in the pointy hat and kraadish decided that they would go and look for her but not until after his beer thought the halforc. They also needed equipment to replace things that had been lost, stolen or just Broken, so a trip to the market was the next order of things to do.
The stalls where still being put back together but they were still happy to trade any way.
Kraadish needed armour and a new sword ...the guy at the first weapon stall didn't have much but he offered to sell Kraadish a Madu shield which is small like a buckler...it wasn't really what he wanted but the stall holder convinced him that he needed it and so Kraadish handed over 300 gp of his hard earned money.
He saw it as an investment in a town that was now in hard times after the battle with goblins, he also bought a Falchion too. On armor, he was directed to another tent and told to say the mayor sent him.
At the armoury tent he spoke to a woman and said to here the mayor sent him after repeating himself she said that on a purchase he would get a discount.
She didn't have anything that he needed so once again he met up with the gnome and the wizard.
They slept the night as they had decided it would be better to look for the slave girl at first light.
The three picked up a trail in the morning, ok, in fact it was the wizard who found the tracks. The gnome NENI had got an item of clothing from the Dwarf that was owned by the slave girl, gave it to the bear Chocolate, at which he set off with the gnome ridding on top and the wizard and halforc running behind.
The bear took them all for a merry chase around town until they gave in and started to look for clues themselves.
When the tracks were re found they lead, and then ended outside the front of two small wooden houses one of which was in really bad repair.
They turned to the well kept house first. Knocking on the door a well dressed man answered, the NENI recognised him straight away and so asked if they could come in and talk with him. As they entered the house they saw art and sculptures on every wall and every shelf. The gnome went in first and the halforc and wizard waited at the door. They told him that they had followed tracks that lead to the front of his house and that they were concerned that the missing slave was in his seller. He denied this and stormed upstairs where the gnome followed him to his room.
The wizard and halforc searched downstairs anyway as there was now no one around. A tuft of black and green hair was eventually found near the back door that lead out to a small yard.
A shout was heard from upstairs so Kraadish headed up to find the reason, finding the gnome in the bedroom along with the man who had a dagger in his hand standing next to a window that looked out over the backyard. The gnome move but before she had chance the man plunged the knife into his stomach and toppled out of the window falling hard to the floor. Kraadish ran hard and jumped out the window to the ground below hurting himself as he did so but finding the man already dead yet no blood poured from his wound.
He's dead shouted Kraadish, then there was a shout from the other side of the house, the half orc lifted the body and dropped it in through a room window in the house and ran around the front. FEANAN the wizard was at the other house, he had gone to check it out when the other two had gone upstairs.
He had shouted for help getting the door open and the halforc with his great strength failed so the wizard kicked in the door himself.
He found nothing of interest except a small bottle of blue liquid.
NENI came over and the two male adventures said that they had found a lock of hair in the other house. Neni said at once that that was the hair of the slave girl and asked where had they found it.
They explained and once again took to finding clues and tracks.
Finding tracks that lead to a glass warehouse they headed over to the main door. Guards stood at the top of the steps and stopped any entrance. The three explain what they were doing and asked to go in their seller, the guards refused so Neni threatened them and eventually they let them in but only to go to the glass shop that lay within. Heading in to a large hall with doors on the left only they came to a small room that had every type of glass item you could want. The gnome bought some glass pellets for her sling weapon.
From the shop they saw a stair way down that looked like it headed towards crates and boxes. They headed that way, two guards where heading from the far end of the corridor. They drew their swords. Kraadish shouted STOP which frightened them so much that they were stunned for a few moments giving FEANAN time to run over with his rope and tie them up.
NENI noticed something odd about the wall near by and said to the others, that the wall was really a door. Not fooled by this the wizard and halforc continued what they were doing. NENI tried pushing the wall and it moved. It was a door, about 10' wide. So together they all put their backs to it and pushed it open. Right in front of them was 4 Goblins.
A fight was on.
Goblins ran forward for the attack, the three new friends stood there ground well taking out two in a flurry of movement, the wizard kicking one really hard. The last two fell quickly also but not after causing much damage to the Halforc. On examination one of the goblins wasn't dead just unconscious, they woke it and as only the wizard could speak Goblin a crazy conversation took place.
Kraadish held the Goblin close and Feanan asked his questions but each time something was said the halforc ask what did he say and then what did you say. This went on throughout the whole time with the wizard getting dizzy from repeating himself.
They eventually discovered that the Goblins were guarding this door to an underground lair of some one called their Master and that he would kill him if he told anyone, so they three made him lead them down. Down a long corridor and stairs that then ended in a junction that went left and right for about 30' and the turned north.
Going to the first door on the right NENI could hear movement from within, shuffling and a rattle. Not sure as to what it could be Kraadish suggested that they use the unconscious Goblin and like a puppet poke him around the door and ask where the Master was. They agreed, knocking on the door a voice said, in goblin to come in so the door was pushed open just enough to poke the goblin in and just enough to see passed. It was a guard room. FEANAN as the Goblin said he had prisoners and they needed to go straight to the Master. Kraadish jiggled the goblin so it looked like it was talking. The wizard and the Goblins beyond got talking and ended up getting excited over fire and burning things. FEANAN convinced them that they was never to look upon the prisoners or the Master would be angry and they were to hide in the store room until told to come out. They agreed.
Going to the next door the three did the same and poked the unconscious Goblin through the door way but this time there was a flash and a gush of flame. The goblin caught the full force of a fire trap cast on the door.
NENI, FEANAN and KRAADISH all stood for a moment with singed eyebrows looking at the black and very much dead Goblin that they had carried all this way.
That spell must have been guarding something they all decided so pushing the charred door open, went in. It was an armory with weapons and armor of all kinds against the wall.
NENI cast a spell of some sort and then seemed to know what she was looking for then FEANAN the wizard looked at what she had found and decided to give Kraadish a helmet which he looked at strangely and decided against it and so it was left behind.
NENI and FEANAN took thing and placed them in their bags.
They then all three continued on.
They rounded an other corner headed along a while to a large door that lead into a huge hall, within there were more goblins also some other kinds, half elves and a human in dark robes standing over the far side of the room.
The Goblins stood over 35' away so at once the three heroes ran at the Goblins but they acted first and took advantage of the moment and hit the three hard.
FEANAN was the first to fall and NENI used some kind of spell to stabilise him until help could get to him. Kraadish ran to his aid taking hits as he went, arrived at the Wizard and administered a potion, just as the wizard awoke the halforc collapsed from his wounds and fell unconscious. FEANAN fished around in his pack for one on his potions to give to Kraadish and gave the halforc the infution.
But no soon as the wizard had helped the halforc he to fell again and NENI saw this and stableised him again. Kraadish stood but within moments was down again. All around wad mayhem.
FEANNAN sensed something, something was strange yet familiar at the same time. A voice was speaking to him, SET ME FREE it said. The wizard was confused by this, he started to shake, Feanan's whole body seemed to be trembling, then hi took off his pack and looked inside something was there, but ahead of him within the circle of halfelves and goblins a young Silver Dragon appeared and at once lunged at the Wizard biting down hard and then swallowing 4 goblins that were attacking Feannan and NENI. Feanan was extremely surprised by this, but a sense of relief came over him. Neni summoned a giant centipede and It and Chocolate faught hard.
Over from the far side of the large hall yet more goblins and halfelves poured in but the dragon made short work of them and the three, NENI, FEANAN and KRAADISH were now safe.
"To be Continued"
Body parts lay scattered about the large hall and the Silver Dragon was contented as It chewed on a limb. Chocolate, Neni's bear decided to get to know the Dragon and just like a dog, wondered over to sniff its bum.
The three heroes decided to rummage through the bodies to see if any items could be made use of for their task. Lots of magic items where found including, 5 Scimitar s, a wand or rod of some type, some goggles, bows and also Arrows all shone as magical. Not much was needed and so it was left for latter. Kraadish took the goggles as they kinda looked good and hung them from his belt.
collecting what they wanted the three continued on to the far end of the hall, through a large doorway and down three flights of stairs that took them to a large door at the bottom. It wasn't locked in any way so pushing it open it lead into a huge bell shaped room with a door at the North and East walls, the room itself was full of huge wooden crates with no markings on them what so ever. All three tried to open a crate but where defeated each time they tried and so gave in.
Deciding to take the North leading corridor, it lead deep into darkness and as Kraadish could see in the dark he lead the way. Having not gone more than 30' on when the floor gave way under Kraadish and he fell hard to the floor 15' below.
Finding the walls to hard to climb and no one had any more rope it took a while to work out how to get Kraadish out of the hole. It was decided that they would break open a crate and use whatever was in it to drop down the hole to try and create something for the Half Orc to stand on. The Dragon who had followed us down from above helped break open a crate and finding within sacks of grain and pulses then dropped them down the pit and the dragon lowered its tale so that the half orc managed to get out.
The hole then had to be bridged again by everyone and as it was only a 5' hole it was decided to jump it. It Was managed with great ease by everyone even the animals that accompany. They all continued on down the 5' corridor.
Coming again to a wooden door that lead into a room of about normal size on the wall to the right was a large dark wood desk with an ink pot and pens scattered upon it, a small draw was also seen.
A corridor lead North but in the West wall was a huge iron door that look very heavy and secure.
Feanan searched the desk as the other two looked about the room.
The wizard found a letter, some blank parchment in the draw, sealing wax and a stamp with a crest upon it in the shape of a stylised V. He took them all for later use.
Neni listened at the Iron door. She said she didn't hear anything so between us we decided to open it anyway.
Within the room behind the iron door lay a small dark room with 6 Prison sells but only 4 had anyone within them, the three asked who they were and where they were from, one of the prisoners asked the heroes why they had taken them and locked them up in the cells, he was very sarcastic and obviously the confinement was getting to them. Kraadish, grabbing the bars put his mighty strength to use but as he was doing so apparently Neni picked the locks or something and within moments all 4 prisoners were out and looking at Kraadish who was still straining to bend the bars on a now open cell.
Neni spoke to the released prisoners and discovered that they were from the town of Sandpoint and so giving them weapons, which by the looks of them they didn't know how to use anyway she suggested that they follow the three heroes until they arrived at safety. They were a little surprised by the Bear and a 6' tall silver Dragon squished into the next room but when told they were friendly companions they kind of excepted it.
The North corridor was next to be tried, it lead once again off into darkness so the half orc went first. The corridor ended in an enormous natural cavern and even Kraadish's dark vision couldn't see to the far side but voices of Goblin make could be heard and as the wizard is the only one to talk Goblin said that they have seen us and are coming this way. The 7 now ran back along the corridor to the room with the desk where Kraadish dragged the large oak table to the corridor entrance, tipped it on to its side with the top of the table now facing the dark hallway and there, with weapons at the ready they waited for the fight to come to them. The wizard sat against the far wall smoking a small intricate pipe that seemed see through and blowing smoke pictures in the air, chuckled and by the sound of It, talked to himself.
They waited a good few minutes and nothing, then the Half Orc climbed over the table headed into the darkness to see what was coming from the cavern. Nothing, it was all silent again.
That was not a good way to go, it was decided, so all in agreement they headed back to the room that had the crates in it as there was a door that hadn't be tried.
They headed back over the pit in the floor run through rooms and down corridors arriving at the huge well lite crate room. All together they push one of the crates into the corridor they had just come down so at least blocking it and they should hear anyone coming. Getting the dragon to break open one of the crates for the ex prisoners, they stayed there and ate and made a camp fire as the heroes headed to the door in the East wall.
Neni listened against the door, she stated that she could hear the Dwarf barmans voice and the sound of talking. The Elf and the Half orc were confused by this and listened also but once again it must be the wild imaginings of a Gnomes mind.
Feanan considered that we could have gone so far under the town that the inn was now above them but on a deep reflection decided that that wasn't possible.
The door way once again wasn't locked and lead into a dark dank corridor with mold and growths on the walls and floors. Kraadish was first again and within moment stood upon something that triggered darts that flew from the ceiling stabbing him multiple time but as they were so small didn't hurt too much. Pulling spikes from his bruised body and continuing on. Yet again Kraadish is taken by surprise by yet another trap in the floor, falling a good 15' onto long iron spikes at the bottom but by chance only one strikes him, piercing his right thigh and bursting through the flesh to show on the other side. Kraadish screams and yells in pain and also in frustration to fall to yet another trap. Hands wrapped tight around his leg and totally blood soaked he heaves his leg inch by agonising inch, off the rusted spike until after what seemed like hours to him he was free to consider how he was going to get out of this with an injured leg.
As there was no rope to hand Kraadish spent an agonising 15 minutes climbing out of the pit. Luckily Feanan reminded him to climb up on the opposite side of the pit, so this he did and then lay upon the lip of the pit exhausted.
Neni after jumping the pit along with all the others bends to aid the Half orc by giving him one of her healing potions that she takes from her pack. They now all continue down the long, long corridor that then ends in an intricately carved wooden door. Feanan notes that the carvings are in Draconic and as he can also read that he starts to decipher and along with the dragons help together they work out what it says. Kraadish says that it has to be a trap and that they shouldn't open it. He then starts to search the walls for old burn marks of which he finds none.
Kraadish starts to move away from the door, backing up but still giving warnings not to open the door.
They Open the door.
A huge gout of flame rushes down the corridor and everyone was engulfed In fire and heat but for some reason, maybe it was magic thought the half orc, was that Kraadish came off the worst as his bared flesh blistered and popped and the smell of burning hear was all about him.
The Door was now wide open and what could be seen was a circular room and at the far North side was dark desk, to the left of that against the wall was a bookshelf with many large books upon it, standing in front of the desk was a woman.
She was tall and slim and had an evil beauty about her, her flesh was red and unnaturally textured. Her eyes flashed with an other realm glow. Her lower body looked like it was of a constructed nature with wood, metal and sinew.
She drew a massive sword from her side as Feanan and Neni stepped in.
Feanan moved first, muttering words as he did so then the walls of the room burst into flames and like a funeral pire the flame moved around the whole of the room as though it were alive. Drawing his sword in one movement the wizard rushes the fiend, missing and slicing into the corner of the desk. A smile of pure evil crosses the womans face.
The half orc charges passed the Dragon, bear and Neni to try and protect Feanan, for whom he has started to develop a kinship, yet the fiend evades his sweeping Falchion. The Dragon clambers through the door way, careful of her wounds that she resieved from the flame trapped door and takes a bite at the fiend and catching it upon a shoulder.
Neni spinning her sling at a blurring pace and let's a sling bullet fly, narrowly missing the fiend and striking the wall behind her. Now its Chocolate the bear but he also could not get at a good angle to strike home with its claws.
Feanan steps in closer for an attack but holds, from behind, the Half orc screams, leaps over both the wizard and Dragon to land solidly on the large desk, planting his feet firmly and following through with a over the head attack that hits its mark with the sound of a knife through cabbage. The fiend reels from the blow and glares at the Half Orc. Blood shines as it drips from her wound and mouth. She hisses.
The Dragon sees a chance and takes advantage and lunges for a bite again, tearing flesh from the demons outstretched arm. The hiss turns to a scream but a scream of unworldly noise. Suddenly the ground within the whole room trembles and shakes. Loose stones start to dance like sand on a beaten drum, then tearing through from beneath the ground around the Heroes, clamber and stagger, skeletons, zombies and all manner of Undead.
Festering flesh hung like tattered ribbons from the gruesome horde
The three heroes have no time to take in what is happening around them fully as the fight continues but with even more ferocity.
Kraadish heaves his Falchion high and hard again bringing it to bear upon the Fiend in front of him as he stands teetering on the edge of the desk. His blow lands true, sending the devil woman sliding into a zombie which in turn falls against the burning wall and if it had breath it would have screamed its last as its desocated flesh combustes, instantly destroying the creature.
The fight continues at breathtaking speed.
The Dragon eats two undead in one motion. The Half orc is struck twice from foes who stand beneath him causing dreadful wounds. Neni swings and twirls her staff at a blistering pace catching and destroying a zombie and the satisfying Thwack echoes above the din of the fight. The undead continue to advance.
The bear deals a killing blow scattering body parts across the floor at its feet. Feanan, on the far right of the room seems to be caught in a tough fight as he brings sword and boot against this zombie but still it will not fall.
Kraadish, spins on his heels chopping a zombie clean in half not even giving it time to realise its evil un life was over before bringing his blade down upon another.
The Dragon continues to take zombies left and right with no fear to its self.
Neni ducked down twirling her staff and strikes at an undead but was just beyond reach and her blow fails to connect but her bear, Chocolate mastercates upon the head of another and it falls limp to the floor.
The Wizard continues to fight hard against this one Zombie. Feanan deems that this Zombies must be the leader as it just won't go down, but the wizard just fails to mention later that he struck no decent blow against it . The Half Orc destroys yet another.
The Dragon swipes her long tail around the edge of the room missing her targets and burns herself against the flaming wall.
The Zombies make a lunge at all around them hitting Neni & Feanan taking them both of guard, the wizard falls. Neni strikes back but being dazzed misses again. Kraadish leaps from off of the table to help Feanan with his struggle with the undead, the heavy blade slams into the ground just at the side of the zombie them with speed only a Dragon possess takes out the zombie plus two others in one swift action. The Bear senses a chance, pouncing and kills but not without injury to itself. Neni leaps to her pets aid and between them bring the last of the undead down and a silence fills the room. Everyone breaths a heavy sigh as they survey the destruction and death that surrounds them.
Neni seeing the Wizard beneath corpses, races to give him a potion and help him to his feet.
Appearing behind them as if out of nowhere a shimmering cage of energy materialised in the centre of the room and a dark silhouette of a person could be seen within. Slowly the force of the energy seemed to be loosing its intensity and there upon the floor lay the slave girl that the heroes had been searching for. As Neni listens to the Girls story on how she got to be taken by such a Fiend, Feanan wandered over to the large desk and searches through draw finding more paper and a letter also a signet ring.
Apparently as the girl explains the heroes all stop to listen to what she says.
Nualia died many years ago or so the town of Sandpoint believed. The town didn't come searching for her or even to find out what had happened and now returning to take revenge on the town. After a lengthy explanation the slave girl also revealed that she was a powerful cleric who had decided to work in a bar as a barmaid. So she spoke words of healing over the heroes and instantly they were relieved of all pain and injury they had received.
Neni remembers just as they were about to leave to search the body of the fiend finding two rings a precious breast plate and a Medallion.
Now they where all ready to return above ground so gathering anything of interest set off back towards town. Heading down the corridor they all jumped the first pit but Neni had problems and fell down the pit. The wizard had a potion of climbing so using the Half Orcs fishing line lowered it down to her where she then drank it and had no problem climbing out.
Passing the Goblin Armoury Neni heads in to find ammunition for her sling.
Arriving back at the glassmakers warehouse they see the three guards they had tied up earlier and having pity on them the wizard decided to untie them. Wher as they lept up ready to fight them on seeing the Dragon standing behind the heroes they changed their minds, dropped their weapons and ran. Out in the daylight again the dragon stretched her wings and took to the sky with joy and excitement. The Gnome and the Half orc headed over to the Mayors to explain what they had found out while the Elf headed to the inn for a drink and to look over everything that had been found and to study it.
The Mayor named Neni and Feanan as heroes of Sandpoint. The Half Orc was thanked for helping. When they got back to the Wizard they laughed and joked about what had happens and shared the findings from their adventures.
written by S Matthews
Saturday, November 28, 2009, 4:34 PM
SOMEONE HAS PLANS FOR HARRGATE
Game written By S Matthews (Symatt)
Someone has plans
for Harrgate. Very big and very bad plans. Far reaching nations, Guilds and Assassins make Small ripples in the
political lake around Harrgate and will soon become waves that will sweep
away all personal freedoms. Heroes, three strangers who stumble
across the edges of the insidious plot, can stand between evil reborn and save freedom from
disaster, but only if they can trust each other, will they
discover and stop the villainy who's deceiving everyone and who is sitting at the middle of this web
The church of Pelor which now rules Harrgate fore saw a danger in a small town to the east called bridgetown, the seers of Pelor saw the dead walking and a small party sent to challenge. One was Noma a noble of Harrgate and a follower of Pelor also a HalfOrc male and a human male which were to be found in an unlikely place to find heroes. The Bow & Bard on the street level of Harrgate.
Dorn the half Orc and Von Luck had been friends and companions for many a journey now and become best of friends. They were cautious at first to this Deva's request for help but the sound of money helped them decide.
They met at the gatehouse of Harrgate, the two friends walking and Noma ridding a white and grey horse. Three day journey lay ahead.
The Deamon wound gorge was the first absticle they came across a narrow rope bridge with a guard tower at the north side. The two guards who's uniform they at once noticed didn't fit very well demanded money from the party and eventually a demand became a threat, that is when Noma side the blood pooling out from under the small tower door and at once they new what had happened. Bandits had killed the real guards and were robbing any travellers who wish to cross the bridge. Threats and shouts and a fight started, one of the bandits ran for his life with Von luck on his tail, a few strikes staggered the man but a bow strike from Dorn killed him dead.
Noma started to search the tower, coming across the bodies of the guards left to bleed to death on the floor. The only thing of interest was a blue cloth bundle that Noma place in her pack to check on latter. They continued across heading south west.
On the third day they arrive at the North gate to bridgetown.
The portcullis was open and lead through the gatehouse into bridgetown's only street which was dusty and dry. People where coming and going through the town as this was the only bridge across the river Asrai for many miles. The bridge is made of huge stone blocks and the town is supported on top. The buildings are all made of wood and extend up at least three stories each except for the gate houses at each end that are the same stone as the bridge with metal portcullis and large wooden gates.
The street is heavy with people, moving trade and carts and animals. The busiest building by far is the Bridgetown inn at the southeast corner next to the south gate this building has a small stable and about 20 rooms to rent from ground floor to third with a flat roof terrace.
The town is busy but peaceful, strange it seems as it is said to have troubles of an unusual kind.
The party order food and watch people come and go through the inn until a few hours later a brightly dressed portly man came into the inn at around lunch time.
Von luck had sat himself on a table
with locals and they found this strange but continued with their meal and chat. Noma & Dorn went over to talk with the man for whom the barmaid had informed them was the Mayor. We need to talk it is of great importance was the topic of conversation. trifilo the mayer half listened to the pare as he continued to eat, spilling gravy down the napkin that hung around his fat neck. The topic turned to evil deeds that had taken place in town and the church was now aware. Surprised buy the news that they were here to help with his towns problem he told the party of the undead that plagued the town at night. They come almost every night now but are gone by dawn. Only the other night one of our residents was attacked when a lone creature had slipped through. The mayor continued to tell them of the Breathless isle where he believed they were coming from was to blame but for the reason he knew not. Noma agreed to help in the name of the church at first light. They took rooms in the inn and retired for the night.
Noma, Dorn & Von Luck woke late into the night to the sound of screaming and yelling they opened there boarded upper windows and looked out, the south gate house was swapped with the living dead the crawled and clambered to get into the town and the town militia was doing there utmost to keep them at bay, using their pikes and spears to stab at them through the bars of the gate.
Above the din another scream was heard but this time from above ant to the right of the room they were looking out from. They found the stairs that lead to the roof terrace and from there the terrible sight outside the gates could be seen so much clearer as more undead seem to stagger out of the dark.
A scream again to there right from a shuttered window three roofs across. With speed and yet great care all three members climbed onto the next roof ran across the tiles and climbing up to the adjacent building next to the covered window were screams, shouts and crying could be heard.
Von Luck tried to peer through the gap in the wooden shutters, candle light and moving shadows could be seen within.
At deaths window
The window shutter was locked from the inside and Von Luck was having no luck in getting it open he banged and rattled at it until Dorn shouted to stand aside as he crashed his mighty sword against the wood sending shattered splinters in every direction. Silence fell, all that could be heard were the shouts from the street below.
Von Luck leaned and peered into the now dark still room nothing move bar the lace that now hung tattered at the window. A shadow, what was that. Then lurching out of the darkness a screaming hissing undead thing with teeth and fingernails bared and thrust forward for the kill. Arms, hands and mouth slashing and gnashing at whoever was closed. Von Luck dodged its grip.
The creature clambered and crawled to get out through the window and grab at its prey but as everyone except Dorn could not comprehend what that saw, he drew his great sword back once more and with one mighty blow cleaved the top of its head clean off which scittered across the flat roof and span like a dropped coin for several seconds with an eerie rattle and the corpse lay as still as ice across the window sill.
Von Luck sat still upon the roof starring in disbelief, Noma to was shocked, Dorn on the other hand seemed please with his work and chuckled.
Dorn ran out into the street to help the town militia that were doing their best to keep the undead from breaking through, although just made up from volunteer towns folk they where in fact doing an excellent job.
Noma & Von Luck climbed across the roof to the guard tower where they took shots at the undead as dawn approached the zombies able of I to the growing light, Noma & Von Luck assailed the wall to the outside of the town and waiting for Dorn they then traced after the fleet of fetted flesh.
Follow in the dark
The tracks lead the party south then south east until they last them at a clump of thorn bushes but with careful searching they found hidden behind a bush a slope down down into the dark earth. It looked like it had been dug by hand not hand tools but actually by hand there were scrape and finger marks all over the tunnel wall. It lead down into the darkness but as they reach the bottom of the steep slop they placed there feet In to cold smelly water, not very deep but dark and still. This tunnel must flood when it rains. The party took strides into the water but something moves at the far side of the waters edge, something was coming towards them. Dark and full of fur and teeth the Rats attacked without warning clawing and biting at anything in reach. Dorn slashed with his sword and Von Luck attacked also with Noma casting spells from behind illuminating the tunnel as she did so all could see the danger around them. Soon rat bodies were floating free in the shallow water and the three continued on up the other side into a new dawn out on to the desert like island , ahead of them a ziggerat rose high with a dark opening at the summit. Troubled climb lay ahead. The troupe tried a few time to get up the high steps of the pyramid but after an hour of trying and only two stepped climbed they saw over to the north what looked like a well or something they dropped down and went over to investigate.
It looked like someone many years ago had dug a hole down into the ground it sank deep into darkness, above ground remained a wooden A frame structure like that found on the top of a well with rope around a tumbler that had a handle a one side for winching things up or down. The trio tried the rope it seemed secure to them, Dorn went first.
Dorn descended 130 feet of the 150 and stopped to scan the area below with his touch held high, stone tiles and bones scattered everywhere as he slowly turned in the air on the rope. He lowered him self some more, closer to the ground, looked around once more and dropped the last couple of feet to floor and landed at the bottom safely. Dorn took a better look around the bone strewn space, noted one exit and called the all clear to the others. Von Luck followed slowly down the rope, Noma heard a few creaks and cracks from the wooden support as Von Luck lowered farther into the dark but it looked fine and he also landed safely.
When Noma tried, however, things went less smoothly. Halfway down Noma stopped as the wood shifted out of place and jolted he and set the rope swaying slightly, again she continued to climb a few bits of wood dust and dirt drifted passed her then the wood the rope was tied to snapped, dropping Noma a good 100 feet. She landed hard on her back and lay gasping for breath in the dirt. Moments later, the chunk of wood smashed into the ground inches from her face scattering splinters of rotten wood in every direction. Shaken and taking several minutes to recover, Noma allowed Dorn to help her to her feet and then seeing that that was their way out, had now gone. The exit lead into a room with 6 colums, 3 either side behind the second on the right was an entrance to a small chilled area. three cautiously moved in to investigate.
The floor was littered with bones and there was a stone basin on the wall. The basin was cracked and water slowly dripped from it. As Noma and Von Luck searched the room, Dorn examined the basin. He stuck his hand in the murky water, searching for treasures hidden at the bottom. He felt a sharp pain and yanked his hand from the water. A slimy black bloated shrimp like thing hung from his finger. Dorn ripped it from his finger tearing flesh and threw it to the ground, stomping it with his boot. As he watched the leech pop beneath his foot, he absent-mindedly, rinsed the muck from his hand in the basin. Instantly, another one latched onto the same finger obviously attracted now by the blood, angrily Dorn gripped it as tight as he could until it squelched through between his wet bloody fingers. They continued on. Soon Dorn began to feel unwell. As time went on, he felt sicker and sicker.
Heading back to the corridor and around a small corner, they came across a small room. In the room was a broken urn with what looked like sand spilling from the break. Dorn went into the room and knelt, scooping up a handful and allowing it to fall through his fingers like sand in an hourglass. No sooner had he touched it, it began to swirl and move as though a wind had caught it. As it fell It twisted and swirled like a small vortex around and around getting larger and faster. Soon it filled the room in a massive dust storm.
Dorn couldn't see anything now as it became ferocious and to him deafening. Dorn lost all sense of direction in the tinny room not even able to see his own hand in front of his nose. The flying sand cut deep his exposed skin burning like an acid.
Noma and Von Luck could not see him or hear him. The room to them was a blur but yet the sand didn't cross the threshold once. Noma called out to him, but got no response. Noma decided to head in as it was the only way of rescue for Dorn, keeping her left hand on the wall she dove into the swirling sand after him.
Thankfully, her searching right hand found Dorn’s shoulder. She grabbed a hold of him and led him back to the door, keeping her hand on the wall all the way.
Once outside the room, the three companions continued down the hall. They soon came to another broken urn, this one surrounded by beetles. They carefully stepped around the bugs and continued on. They came to another small room with a sandy urn, nearly identical to the first room. Dorn wanted to go in and capture some of the sand in a bottle. Noma and Von Luck arguing against it. Finally, Noma and Von Luck simply walked the other way, taking the torches with them, and leaving Dorn no choice. They turned to face yet another corridor and at the end a few steps, no more than 4 maybe 5. At the top of the stairs the corridor both went left and right although the right direction was hindered by iron bars that reached floor to ceiling. They cast the torch around to see what was beyond the bars. A smaller room than any they had come across before and upon the floor was the skeleton of an ancient warrior with weapon and shield close by. Scattered all around were at least a hundred gold pieces.
Von Luck pointed out a lever just to his right. Dorn pulled it instantly, over took by the sight of gold it seemed. No sooner as he was within the room gathering up the coins, the skeleton began to move and stand.
Dorn jumped with a start as the bone warrior swung a mighty swing towards the half Orc just missing his face but striking the wall with an arm shuddering blow. The Skeletons sword sent sparks flying and broke into several pieces which dropped safely to the flagstone floor. Dorn took his chance and with one mighty blow destroyed the skeleton, sending its bones once again to its grave.
Soon they saw light coming from the end of the hallway behind them, they feared the worse so crept slowly coming to the end of it, they saw a large room that was to the right of a few stone steps with brassieres at either side, the centre of which was full of undead wandering around.
In the centre of this vast room was also a pool of radiant light. In the light was a stone pedestal topped with a stone bowl. Above the bowl floated a book. The book was large and rotated slowly in the light.
Von Luck snuck to the other side of the stairs to loot some jars and urns that he has spotted in the murky light.
Noma suddenly felt an overwhelming need to take action. She sprinted up the stairs straight into the middle of the room and took hold of the book
shouted to Pelor
As soon as Noma touched the book, flash of energy blasted against her blowing at her hair and clothes forcing her to close her eyes momentarily, a dark creature, hairless and wrathe like was released. It exploded from the book, came to rest a few feet of the ground turned to Noma, thanked her, then raced around and around and then shot straight up from the room. Only then did Noma realize what a bad position she had put herself in. She spun around only to see that none of the undead creatures were taking any notice of her. She estimated quickly and thought there were around 30. With a shout to Pelor, Noma slammed the end of her staff into the ground and cast a spell to rebuke the undead.
As she did so, she felt divine energy flow through her and immediately cast the spell again. At that moment, Von Luck shouted encouragement to her and bade her do it again, so once again Noma shouted to Pelor for strength and rebuked the undead. The effort left her breathless, but she could see that she had slain two dozen of the beasts in those few seconds. Dorn and Von Luck immediately flew into action and attacked the remaining creatures. They all quickly realised that the zombies could not sense life within the pool of light and also could not step inside.
Noma remained in the light and attacked from there. Dorn fought his way to the pool and did the same. However Von Luck remained where he was.
As the only life force the zombies could sense, he became the only target. He was soon backed into a corner, cowering under his shield and praying for salvation. Noma and Dorn hesitated, unsure of how to save him. He was blocked by zombies three deep on the other side of the room. Dorn drew extra strength from inner reserves and in a furious assault, he took three lives with two arrows. He then tied his rope to an arrow. He tried to shoot Von Luck in the shoulder to drag him to them. He missed. Noma stepped out of the light to draw the attention and ran to Von Luck as Dorn shot arrows at them. Noma was hit several times and fell unconscious. Dorn reeled in his rope and shot the arrow into a wall. He then used the rope to sweep the zombies to one side and trap them there. He healed Noma as best he could and dragged both bodies into the pool of light. He killed the last of the zombies from there picking them off one by one before they broke their rope prison.
They tried to heal Von Luck, but they were too late he had died of his wounds.
Dorn examined the stone bowl more closely. There was water in it, but it was strange water. It was thick, almost oily in texture, but with a silvery sheen. It looked clear and for the strangest of reasons beyond any understanding when it was agitated it dripped and splashed upwards against the flow of order. When spilled, it spilled upward. Curious of the liquid they each filled a bottle.
Dorn being Dorn, drank some. It felt very heavy in his stomach. Noma kept the book and stowed it safely in her satchel.
Dorn carried Von Lucks body and they went up a spiralling ramp toward the surface. At the top was a doorway as wide as two doors together. They found that they had come out at the top of the ziggerat. It was night time, which explained why there were so few zombies in the room soon though the sun would once again be up.
Dorn and Noma discussed how best to kill the remaining zombies. Dorn suggested using swords and rope to block the doorway like a giant spider web trapping the zombies in the sunlight. As he slammed the points of the swords into the stone around the door way, the force seemed to push him back a little. That's when Noma realised Dorn was actually floating less than an inch above the ground. Startled, Noma pointed it out to Dorn. Dorn began experimenting with the effect. He jumped to see how high he would go. He floated to the bottom of the ziggerat and back up again seeing as this skill could come in handy, he took down the ropes and went back inside to scoop up the last of the water.
Heading back through the under river tunnel back to the woods to camp and heal, Von Luck was lain next to a sturdy tree in the wood but come day break when Noma and Dorn cleared up the camp something was left behind or some one.
As they got close to Bridge town they could see the people and street was in an up roar. People again lay dead and family members sat crying.
They stopped the first person they came to and asked what had happened. He told them with tears in his eyes and his body shaking that a dark shadowy for of a evil man had flown in to town slaughtered ruthlessly at will. Striking women and children down as if they were nothing to him then he struck off over the roofs and was gone leaving death and misery in his wake. What evil could do this and why. The man broke down again and cried uncontrollably.
Dorn headed for Rosa the Herbalists house and found her deathly in bed with her daughter tending to her wounds. Asking what they could do Rosa's daughter said they were all out off herbs and potions and so now it was just down to the gods and to fate. Noma didn't except this and taking to her horse she rode hard to the nearest town which was Silver lake just a couple of hours down the rode, she rode as hard and fast as if death its self was after her. The only place in Silver lake was the inn that had lights on in the windows finding the inn keepers wife she quickly explained what had happened at Bridge town. The old woman found herbs and poltices enough for maybe. 10 people. With the bottles and herbs places in Nomas' horses saddlebags. She spurned her horse once again and rode like the wind back to Dorn and the waiting town.
Noma raced upstairs to the bedroom where Rosa lay dying gave Dorn the herbs and potion and he administered them. Within moments Rosa was able to speak and thanked them both for what they had done, for saving her life she was in their debt.
On leaving Rosa's house Noma spotted a young pale faced man standing near her horse. On inquiry she asks what he was doing and what his name was. He was Rolan, and he was looking for them. He had been told that they had the Keystone. Dorn instantly injected a yes we have the Keystone. What said Noma and Rolan together. Yes, I have the Keystone. Then I need it says Rolan.
You will have it if you aid me first. Rolan agreed to go looking for Mushrooms with the Half-Orc for this will get him that much closer to the Keystone for which his master was eager to gain.
They headed out of town towards the forrest. Noma said she would stay over at the inn and wait for their return. She would ask around and try and find out who this Rolan was and why he was here and what is the Keystone. She ordered food and drink and sat comfortably for a couple of hours before their return. She gained no Information from anyone other than that he arrived in town not long after thier return from the breathless isle.
The two returned late from the forest to find Noma had booked rooms again in the inn. When asked Rolan said he had some where to stay and after drinks they all left their separate ways. Noma and Dorn headed upstairs to their rooms and Rolan headed out side.
Unknown to the Deva and the Half-Orc Roland didn't have a place to stay but he had all intentions of putting that right, right now.
A couple of houses from the public house was a green door. Rolan rapped on the door. A stout woman in an apron, flour on her hands and by the looks of it she had tried to move her wayward hair away with floury fingers, answered. Yes? She inquired towards the pale man standing before her can I help. Rolan walked straight in." I'd like breakfast early if you don't mind" and he continued to head up the narrow stair case. The woman just had a state of shock on her face but did nothing to stop him. There was something about him that just made it feel all right.
Rolan took the first door on the left at the top of the stairs. There he made himself at home.
The night didn't pass well for Noma and Dorn for they both suffered terrible dreams.
Noma was in a dark tower its location was unknown to her but she felt like she had been here before, no wait she wasn't Noma she was Rolan, looking around she saw high shelves stack full of books and scrolls of every size. Nick knacks and trinkets scattered upon every spare surface although there wasn't much of that. Dusty furniture dripping candles on top of candles, there wax as like waterfalls frozen or just stopped in time. The floor rug was very old and worn, so bad In areas that the floor boards beneath have become smooth. At the far side of the room just standing in the deep shadows of the candle light she sees a robed figure. He is tall and slim with boney fingers.
Noma now sees from a different angle, she is no longer Rolan but she sees him, he stretches his hand out, palm up. Upon it was a blue stone. The robed figure came closer moving as if he was floating not walking. He glided over and reach with a emaciated hand and took the stone. All the while Noma tried to see his face but all ways it was hidden in shadow.
Rolan turned, retrieving something for his master from a table from just behind. As he turned away the robed figure raised an arm in the air slowly. There was a flash of light or was it a glint of steel, then his arm drove down hard towards Rolan s back.
NOMA woke with a start. Sweat running down her blue flesh. What was that she spoke openly to herself.
She also now knew what the Keystone was and that she knew where to look for it.
DORN lay in the room next door.
He fell into a deep sleep almost instantly. The day had been a drain on his resources.
He flinched several times in his sleep, but this wasn't unusual for him or most people for that matter.
He suddenly sat bolt upright in his bed his weapon he was sleeping with fell to the floor but it seemed like it struck the wooden floor in silence. He took no notice for directly in front of him and just raised a few feet off of the bed was an image or an apparition of Von Luck. His best friend of many years. There, just ghostly.
He drifted towards Dorn who remained still. Even if he had tried to move his limbs wouldn't have allowed it .
" you left me to die Dorn,came a rasping voice." why why did you leave me out in the cold" the image in front of him shimmered momentarily then, behold his God was before him in all his glory. Brilliant light blazed about the entire room. Dorn was dazzled and dazzed by the overwhelming presence. Then he spoke, words were like water sliding from the ripe flesh of a new grown peach. The sound they made was like cherry blossom caught in a summer breeze.
Dorn listened and to him the words he heard were more precious than gold.
He woke with a start, his weapon he was sleeping with clattered noisily to the floor. A shout came from the other room next door to stop banging about. Dorn wiped the bed sheet across his moist face then blinking a few times looked around the room. Nothing. Nothing at all.
The next morning very early the Deva headed down to the inns bar for breakfast. It was nicely prepared and eaten and as she did so Rolan walked in.
Noma gave him a side glance then offered eggs.
Dorn still wasn't there. Breakfast was done with and Noma was now worried about Dorn. She raced to his room leaving Rolan confused. After banging on his door and getting no answer she went in. Dorn had gone and had taken all his gear.
She spotted something against the wash bowl in the corner.
A letter perhaps.
Elf named Kyfel
Dorn headed into the forest to find Von Luck. A decent burial was what he had deserved, not to be left to scavenging animals and the elements.
Dorn was now extremely ill from the poison running through his body from the creatures that had bitten him when in the pyramid. Obviously it had made him forgetful and now delirious. He staggered on through bushes and undergrowth, stumbling through mud puddles, and using trees to steady his progression until overwhelmed fell and lapsed into unconsciousness.
He'd left Noma a note, it informed her that he was going in search of Von Lucks body.
On reading the message she and Rolan went looking for him.
They came across his Dorn's body laying in the path all muddy.
A huge black panther was standing over him. They challenged the creature and fought him off (never injuring him, but apparently scaring him off). Rolan medicated Dorn, who regained consciousness but remained very weak.
Noma and Rolan helped Dorn back to his feet and he exclaimed that he had failed to find anything but bloodied ground where Von Luck had been left.
The three started towards town.
Rolan ran on ahead to town to get horses while Noma stayed with Dorn.
While they waited, an Elf, tall and elegant with a grey cloak and a brooch with a winged sword motif stepped out from the trees he asked what why they were out here and had they come across a large black panther which he had been pursuing for many days now.
Explaining they had seen it earlier. Dorn said not to kill it because it was a friend. The Elf who then introduced himself as KYFEL, warned them that he would kill the beast and to stay in town out of the monsters way.
Dorn decided he needed to find the animal before the Elf did.
Rolan arrived leading the riding horses, they helped Dorn up and they rode back to Bridgetown.
They took Dorn back to the Alchemists where Rosa gave him a tonic and healed his injuries as best she could for him.
Noma spoke to Rosa's daughter about a strange liquid they had found and gave some floating water for her to examine.
Dorn, Noma and their new acquaintance Rolan headed over to Bridge Inn to find mayor Trifilo in the hope that whatever it was that was hanging around his neck was the key stone that they where all now looking for.
Dorn was very threatening while trying to get the mayor to go outside and talk, but eventually they convinced him of its importance that they spoke in private. Mayor Trifilo took them to the guard house and shouting at the few guards that were in there to get out so that they could talk.
They told him that his necklace attracted evil and that they needed to take it to protect the town.
Dorn and Noma got into an argument over which lie was the real story, so the mayor now got really suspicious.
Eventually they scared him just enough that he gave them the key stone and he ran out, away down the street.
As the door closed shut behind the mayor, once again the guard room was dim a faint glow came from the Key stone, it seemed to project a beam of blue light against the wall. They determined that this was a sign of there next direction to go.
The trio left town following the direction the key stone led them.
They rode on for a good few hours but eventually made camp and Dorn wanted to attract the panther that he sensed was close, but he didn't know how he knew, he just did. So he tracked and trapped a deer and left the carcass on the road while he hid in a tree nearby. Noma went up in the tree with him and Rolan stayed back at the camp not to far away.
While they were up in the tree looking out for the large cat, they saw two Orcs riding lizards come down the dirt path towards the deer lying on the ground.
Dorn could hear them talking and as he could understand their strange tongue, he listened carefully. They spoke of seeing smoke from a camp, so, he leapt down from the cover of the tree and attacked and Noma followed suit.
They killed one Orc within moments as they had taken them by surprise. The second Orc was wounded but escaped.
Dorn went back up the tree and Noma went back to camp to tell Rolan what had happened.
She discovered one of the lizards which had been injured by an arrow during the hasty fight had found its why to their campsite and had gone through Noma's bags and was now eating the cheese that lay within. She drew close, with a soothing sound she was able to tend to its wound, healing it and seeing the benefit she decided to befriend it and so kept it.
Dorn returned later, still without the black beast he sort.
They settled down in their camp close to the fire Rolan had built and the rest of the night passed peacefully.
In the morning they set out again following the key stone.
Orcs on lizards
While crossing the Rough March plains, they saw, coming out of the heat haze of the parched land about 8 Orcs', riding,some on red and some on green lizards.
As they got closer the three heroes understood that they were a raiding band and a fight was inevitable. Both parties ran in for the attack.
The combat was fast and savage and they killed all but one of the Orcs. That lone Orc managed to get away but it was seriously injured so the friends didn't worry about following it. The lizard mounts scattered around the plain but it didn't take long to round them up and so they kept some as burden animals.
They continued along leading the lizards along with then.
Heading into the forest and after a while walking between trees and rocks they came across an Orc camp. On the far side of the camp was a cave entrance that, according to the glow of the crystal, they needed to go into the dark depths.
The three hid themselves behind a small hillock to discuss how best to proceed. Dorn decide to pretended to be a lone Orc traveller and wandered freely into the camp.
He was challenged immediately but managed to convince them that he was no threat to them.
Their chief was injured, so Dorn offered to do his best to try and heal him. The chief turned out to be the Orc from the battle on the plain who had gotten away.
Dorn spoke to the badly injured chief Orc and said to him that he had killed human invaders, who had seen attack his Orc brethren. He healed the chief as best he could who then fell asleep.
Dorn turn to the Orc witch doctor who had been chanting over their chief, that she could leave and allow him to sleep. As she turned to leave, Dorn un sheathed his Dagger and back stabbed her. Unfortunately, the blow didn't land true and she didn't die and ran out of the tent screaming of treachery. Dorn quickly turned and killed the chief as he slept, then cutting a hole in the back of the tent, ran out into the forest.
Meanwhile, Rolan and Noma snuck around to the left of the camp to try and get through to the cave while the Orcs weren't looking.
Noma lost her footing, slipped and she fell into the camp. Two Orc guards noticed them both and screaming something in Orcish, came running towards both Rolan and herself.
Rolan and Noma, not being in the best position to fight decided to run. They ran towards the tree line of the campsite, running headlong through the tree with Orcs chasing close behind them. As they ran through the trees, they heard something coming towards them, branches and brush was moving rapidly in the forest in the direction that they were running.
The Orcs were getting closer but at the last moment Rolan grabbed hold of Noma and they both dove together into the brush to their left side and out of the corner of their eyes they saw a huge dark shadow leap over and passed them.
They got up and continued running, this time in the direction of the horses. Meanwhile as Dorn ran into the trees behind the chiefs tent, he began to have very strong feelings of DANGER.
He stopped, confused and looked around. He saw nothing but trees. The feelings got stronger and he started seeing flashes of Orcs bleeding and dying. He could taste blood and hear screams from behind him. As the screams stopped and Dorn turned toward the camp, a sense of something coming came over him. He started to back up, scanning the trees around him until a huge black face appeared inches from his own. And purred. Dorn felt a strong empathy instantly with this huge black beast. He knew deep down that they were destined to travel together, there seemed to be a spiritual connection between them both. They became companions from then on.
They together headed back to the horses to meet Rolan and Noma. Rolan and Noma were startled at first, then remembered that Dorn had been searching for this amazing beast. Saying that the cat was “bound to him”.
An audience with
Noma was granted an audience with Abbot Atkin for the next morning so the evening was taken up with bathing and talking with Dorn. Dorn's tatty clothes were destroyed and clean robes were left for him. Rolan was in his room in the Bow & Bard down on the street level of Harrgate. He ate and drank in the bar area watching the comings and goings of the street people of the cramped city. A drunk tatty man held a conversation with Rolan but Rolan didn't seem in the mood to talk but the man continued any way until he seemed to look over Rolan's shoulder then collapsed on to the floor, at least he remembered to finish his drink first.
The first full day in harrgate passed peaceful and quiet. Noma & Dorn stayed in there apartment in the churches living areas.
The start of the second day in the City, Noma was able to see the Abbot today but Dorn had to wait outside, he wondered the hallways for a while waiting for Noma's return.
Noma and the Abbot spoke at length about what had happened on the Breathless isle and in bridgetown he also found out about the release of SACAL the Ravenger, an evil from centuries ago. If this devil has freedom then no one is safe. The Keystone, the Book and Sacal must be brought back together. The Abbot continued to speak to Noma telling her of his friends who live on a farm on the Rough Marches plain who may not know that they are in danger and if at all possible go and return them to Harrgates safety. He told of the League of Rightiouness and their twisted view of the faith, where they where assassinating nobles. Also the human called Rolan you need to let fate take its cause with his master and what will be will be but be careful we do not know or understand who his master is so caution is needed, now you may go and take care my child.
Noma on meeting up with Dorn explained everything that was said as the walked around a small tranquil garden set within the confines of the Abby.
Dorn decided to go and talk and try to get to know Rolan as he is a quiet man, for a human. He found him having a meal at the Bow & Bard an inn where Dorn used to sit with his old friend Von Luck and tell many stories to the locals.
They decided to go to the market district of the City in search of fine boots and weapons. Rolan found what he wanted including a book on politics at the small books shop and Dorn a book on the Elven language. They again went their separate ways, dorn headed back to Noma's apartment to gather his equipment and left the city for the forrest to spend some quality time with shadow. He returned the next day early to meet Noma and they both later headed over to meet Rolan.
Dorn spoke to Rolan about his up coming meeting with his master and between them it was decided that Rolan would ask his master if a second party could partake in the trade of crystals. This arranged they headed towards the high misty location of the city it seemed like the highest point as they climbed many stairs and walked many balconies until the reach a large door shrouded in mist. Rolan took out a large key from around his neck placed it in the lock and turned, it swung open into a grand entrance of wood beamed ceiling, wood panelling, antiques of every kind and description. Noma and Dorn followed Rolan up yet more stairs along a long corridor passing even more curiosities that hung from walls and stood upon the dark wooden floors. Rolan said wait while he enquired within. He return a few minutes later with his masters answer. No he needs both stones, Dorn agreed and handed over the blue crystal to Rolan and again he passed beyond the door this time locking it behind him. Within the large roomed study rolan watched the dark figure again for a few moments who still had his back to Rolan but Rolan was used to this he rarely saw his master fully in all the years he had worked for him. Rolan took out the crystal he had just been given and the one he had kept hidden under his bed at the inn. He placed them in his hand and fitted them together, but something was wrong they didn't want to fit properly and what's more one of the crystals now that they were seen together wasn't the same it didn't have the same shine the same glow within. What had gone wrong, this was not good he wrapped the two stones in his hand and unlocking the door left quietly without saying a word to his master.
How dare you yelled Rolan as he throw the fake crystal at Dorn who caught it in one move, you could have got me killed and at that he left as fast as he could side stepping Dorn and dashing passed Noma and out the great door. Noma gave chase but with the mist and the skill with which Rolan traversed the stairs he wa soon out of sight and lost to Noma.
a new enemy
Leaving a note on the inside of his room door for his unwanted guests to read then Rolan headed North wards up the city streets. There he hoped to trap or just discover who and why he has been followed for the last several days who went through their backpack back at the Orc encampment although now he knows what they were looking for.
Noma & Dorn arrived at the Bow & Bard minutes after Rolan had left, they asked around the inn and found Roland room they third the door, it was locked so Dorn put his foot against the door at which the door gave way in a shower of splinters. No one was in the room as they looked around, there were books and odd items lying around the room at the far side and a book open on the desk but what caught Dorns eye was a note half hidden by the bits of broken door that lay on the floor. Reading it stated, we will meet at the northgate at dusk I have what you want!
The Northgate of Harrgate heads towards the waists of AROLAN.
Dorn was enraged, turned quick on his heels and he and Noma raced towards the gatehouse in the North wall.
Rolan secured a hiding place up on the battlements of the gatehouse and hid in the shadows of early evening there. He watched people and traders and children and guards going about there business until he spied whom he hope were the ones he was looking for but before he could make a move Noma & Dorn arrived. How did they know to come here? Rolan ducked back but not before Noma saw him high up on the gate tower, she ducked in through a door and headed up to Rolan who backed away from her. Dorn was checking out the street people when he noticed he was being watched so as all ways he challenged this man who enraged by Dorns intrusion snapped at him and then with a huff stormed of and both Dorn and Noma lost sight of him in the crowd. Dorn back against a wall continued to watch looking for Rolan. Troops of Avandra were now filing in through the gate, about 60 men in told, dressed in find armour and carrying polearms and swords.
Rolan fled the scene just at the moment Noma saw a man idling his way along the wall towards Dorn with a blade in hand and with so many people about now, Dorn just did not notice. Noma reacted in a flash. The symbol of Pelor rose from the front of her cloths like an glowing star, separated and as quick as a though streaked into and struck the chest of the sneaking man hitting hard and powerful. The man dropped his blade and fell to his knees clutching his now blood soaked chest. Soldiers around came to enquire what was happening and with quick thought Dorn convinced them it was nothing dropped a heal potion into the assassins mouth and the questioned him there in the street.
It transpired that these men had taken half the crystal from Rolan and through Noma & Dorn were trying to track down and retrieve the second half for un known parties. Dorn convinced them that he had given it to a read bearded Dwarf and sent him North into Arolan. Dorn new it should take them a little while to figure out its a lie.
written by S Matthews & M & S Belcher